Official nudged on Asharikandi bridge

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 2.11.11
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Dhubri, Nov. 1: The North East Craft And Rural Development Organisation (Necardo), an NGO, apprised Assam additional chief secretary P.K. Choudhury about the non-implementation of various projects, including the construction of a bridge linking Asharikandi terracotta village, and the poor socio-economic condition of people living in the border villages during his visit to Dhubri on Sunday.

A member of the NGO, which works for the promotion of terracotta and border village development, said the only bridge connecting Asharikandi crafts village with National Highway 31 was washed away in the 2007 flood, which badly affected the business and tourism of the terracotta village in Dhubri district.

He also said Dhubri division of PWD (road) had submitted a plan estimated at Rs 2 crore for RCC bridge to the state government, but till now nothing had been done.

Talking to The Telegraph, director of the NGO, Binoy Bhattacharjee, said he had given the additional chief secretary a presentation on the prevailing bottleneck of communication to Asharikandi terracotta village and poor socio-economic condition in border villages, including Bhogdanga in Dhubri district.

Choudhury, after he was apprised, instructed PWD commissioner Mohan Boro to take immediate steps to construct the bridge connecting Asharikandi, Bhattacharjee said.

Bhattacharjee also said being chairman of state Employment Generation Mission, Choudhury took keen interest in creating job avenues through the promotion of tourism and handicrafts.

He said the Centre and the United Nations Development Project (UNDP) involving the Union tourism ministry launched terracotta promotional project in 2006, which is being implemented by Necardo.

For this, Rs 70-lakh plan was designed, out of which Rs 50 lakh was to be provided by the Centre while the software component cost, amounting to Rs 20 lakh, will be provided by UNDP, he added.

“In the first phase, Rs 39.17 lakh was released in 2006 that include construction of a gate at the entrance to the crafts village, an interpretation centre, a community hall, a reception and sales counter, a workshed, a park exhibiting terracotta items, boating facilities, a restaurant, a rest camp, huts, toilet blocks and road lamps among others,” Bhattacharjee said. However, even after successful implementation of the first phase of the project, necessary funds for the second and third phases were yet to be released by the respective funding agencies, he alleged.