| Railway employees stage a demonstration in New Bongaigaon on Monday. Picture by UB Photos |
Dhubri, July 9: Railway employees and Dhubri residents have demanded a railway industrial park in New Bongaigaon saying the project could generate employment in lower Assam.
Civil organisations, along with railway employees, staged a demonstration in front of the Railway Carriage and Wagon Workshop at New Bongaigaon, protesting the non-fulfilment of the promise made in the 2011 railway budget.
The Railway United Development Forum, comprising the Purbanchal Railway Karmi Parishad, All Assam Students’ Union, All Bodo Students’ Union, All Koch-Rajbongshi Students’ Union, All Rabha Students’ Union, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Parishad, Koch-Rajbongshi Mahila Samiti and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Railway Employees Association, also highlighted several other demands that have so far fallen on deaf ears.
They have also demanded a coach-cum-wagon factory.
Prafulla Sutradhar, the vice-president of the Purbanchal Railway Karmi Parishad, alleged that a plot of land measuring nearly 200 bighas that was lying vacant in New Bongaigaon, could be utilised for the industrial park and coach-cum-wagon factory.
“The land is now being encroached upon by settlers, who are damaging railway property. The land could become the destination of several thousand educated unemployed of lower Assam districts once these projects are set up,” Sutradhar said.
The president of the Bongaigaon district unit of the AASU, Chandan Medhi, said New Bongaigaon under Rangia railway division had great potential.
“New Bongaigaon can be transformed into a vibrant industrial zone, which, in turn, could shape the economy of the lower Assam districts by generating employment. Through this united forum, we will intensify the movement till the demands are fulfilled,” Medhi said.
Medhi said unemployment was growing at an alarming rate and if industries were not set up here, it would create more problems in the days to come.
The forum’s other demands include extension of Rangia railway division’s jurisdiction up to Srirampur, stopping outsourcing of work and privatisation, employment of locals in D-category posts, withdrawing the pension policy, shifting of the office of Consumer Co-operative Society from Calcutta to Maligaon (Guwahati) as it has registered a 65 per cent share, upgrade of assistant personal officers to senior personal officers and appointment of apprentice workers from New Bongaigaon.
The forum has also demanded construction of proposed railway hospital and nursing home and appointment of specialist doctors and restoration of intensive care unit in New Bongaigaon Railway Hospital, construction of road from Dangtol to the Kujia river and a level crossing at Chaprakata-Popragaon.