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Lakhimpur, a host of unkept promises

Oct. 12: For a district named after the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, Lakhimpur sure cuts a very sorry figure.

The name came from the district’s paddy bounty.

Since paddy equals wealth in this agrarian society, Lakhimpur got its nomenclature from its golden farms.

But nearly four decades after it was carved out as a district in 1972, Lakhimpur remains a bundle of failed promises.

In 1984, when chief minister Hiteswar Saikia inaugurated the administrative building of the deputy commissioner’s office, Lekhan Lahon, a prominent personality of the district, submitted a memorandum demanding a radio centre, a technical institute and a bridge over the Brahmaputra connecting North Lakhimpur with Jorhat.

He also wanted a medical college and broad gauge conversion of railway tracks upto Murkongshelek.

However, after his assassination in 1990, the development projects envisioned by him were abandoned by his followers.

The MP from Lakhimpur from 1986-91, late Gakul Saikia, also got funds sanctioned for the construction of bridges connecting Lakhimpur with Majuli. But his untimely death halted the projects.

The second Veterinary College under Assam Agricultural University established in Azad, North Lakhimpur, in 1986 is now on the brink of closure after successfully running for several sessions. The low-power TV transmission centre in North Lakhimpur has a token presence for more than a decade with no sign of improvement.

The proposed ITI in Maidamiya the foundation stone of which was laid by former chief minister Prafulla Mahanta in 1989 has no existence today.

The Kendriya Vidyalaya, which started in 2003 in North Lakhimpur is also facing closure threats because the district administration has failed to allot land for its permanent building.

“A technical institute could have provided jobs for youths but its existence is only on paper,” said Samir Kakati, a college student.

Only Leelabari airport is functioning normally with regular flights from Guwahati.

The roads connecting inland water port and the subdivisional headquarters of Dhakuakhana are unmotorable.

D.K. Road which connects Dhakuakhana with Lakhimpur is not usable. Except for National Highway 52, all PWD roads of the district are potholed stretches of asphalt.

The shifting of the zonal office of BSNL from Lakhimpur to Tezpur, incomplete work on the outdoor and indoor stadia and district treasury office of North Lakhimpur add to the district’s un-ending list of failed projects.

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