The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Needed: Impartial Union budget

l It is very unfortunate that the flood and erosion problems of Assam have been ignored by the Centre once again.

In the Union budget the issues did not find even a mention. It is hardly any wonder, therefore, that people in the state have been expressing anger over the indifference. The people of Assam have long been demanding that the perennial floods be declared a national problem so that adequate central funds were provided.

But year after year, all we have got are assurances. It has become a tradition with New Delhi to listen to the grievances of the Northeast only after the people resort to an agitation, whether armed or democratic.

Ashim Das,

Shantipur, Guwahati

An overcrowded city bus. File picture

Menace called city bus

I am seriously concerned over the present system of running city buses in Guwahati. It seems that police and the administration have no control over these buses, which cause severe traffic congestion and a great deal of public inconvenience.

City buses stop wherever they like to pick up passengers. Most of these buses are overcrowded and passengers, especially senior citizens and women, are severely inconvenienced.

It is high time the administration streamlined the city bus service. It is good to hear that the state government will roll out nearly 200 luxury buses for commuters. But when?

Tridip Dutta,

Hatigaon, Guwahati

Small tea growers appeal for help

Small tea growers of Assam, who contribute nearly 25 per cent of the total production of tea, are at the mercy of the tea producing factories since they control the prices of green leaf.

A couple of months back, green tea leaf sold at an all-time high price of Rs 24 per kg. This exorbitant rise in prices was because of the prevailing drought resulting in shortage of green leaf.

However, the good days for small tea growers were shortlived with prices plummeting to less than Rs 10 after a month. The state government should impose strict laws to control the price of green leaf, otherwise it will be difficult for the small tea growers to survive.

The government should also take necessary steps to provide training to the small growers in producing quality tea.

Chaniram Khonikar,

President, Assam Small Tea Growers’ Association

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