|A deserted GS Road in Guwahati during the 12-hour Assam bandh on Tuesday. Picture by Eastern Projections
People’s verdict: oppose bandhs
The opposition to the bandh called by Ulfa on February 19 has highlighted the people’s resentment to such actions by various groups.
If the sponsors of bandhs think that closed shops and empty streets are always an endorsement of their cause, they are wrong. While one section of people laps up the bandhs because it provides them with a holiday, another section is just scared and does not want to defy the bandh fearing they could land in trouble.
While most organisations, which call bandhs like to see themselves as champions of the cause of the downtrodden, they don’t realise that it is this very section of people who suffer the most from such strikes —daily wage earners, for instance.
Some people are openly opposing the bandh culture — even the AASU has cut down on its bandh calls — and it is time their hands are strengthened to do away with the menace.
Need to step up power projects
It is a matter of great joy that the public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) is setting up a thermal power plant in south Assam, as appeared in The Telegraph on February 11. The project is likely to deal with the power scarcity in the Barak Valley. Other public and private sector power firms have also started to develop hydropower in the region, especially in Arunachal Pradesh.
In this context, it is an important fact that the hydropower resources of Arunachal Pradesh, the hydrocarbon reserves of Assam and other northeastern states, when handled in right earnest, shall go a long way in changing the economic set-up of the region. The power sector is one of the many sectors, which can transform the region into a prosperous one. It important to create a power developer-friendly environment and enable the public and private sectors to accept the Northeast as a gainful investor’s destination.
We are hopeful that the much-awaited Northeast Vision Document 2020, to be announced by the DoNER ministry soon, shall be a means of developing the region.
Through your esteemed daily, I appeal to all stakeholders to prioritise this sector for investment and development of the region.
Protest against rhino killings
It upset me very much to see the pictures of dead rhinos appearing regularly in the newspaper. The one-horned rhino is the pride of Assam and killing these rare animals every now and then is a great loss for the Assamese people. International groups are more concerned about the rhinos and their killing than the Assamese people and government.
Bibhab Talukdar, who represents the Northeast in the National Board of Wildlife, wants to bring the matter to the notice of the Centre. But I think that the state government should first notice the matter because these cruel activities are carried on mainly by the refugees, who had come and settled in Kaziranga National Park and nearby areas. I believe that all Assamese people are concerned about this great loss and soon a united voice will rise against these killings. I also suggest that the forest authorities should increase the number of the forest guards and also give them modern weapons to protect the animals of Kaziranga.
Gayatri Dutta Bora