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Cabinet reshuffle this week

Assam cabinet reshuffle is likely to take place this week. This was announced none other than Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi who has been resorting to delaying tactics to keep the dissident colleagues at bay.

Addressing a press conference in Dispur on Wednesday, the chief minister said that he is leaving for New Delhi on Thursday to get the list approval from the that high command. He would reshuffle the cabinet on his return from the capital.

He said the reshuffle will take place for the vacant ministries. It is also expected to take place for the other ministers.

Notably, education and health minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma resigned in July refusing to work under Gohoi's leadership. The Chief Minister dropped irrigation minister Dr Ardhendu Dey and cooperation minister Siddique Ahmed from the cabinet. Transport ministerChandan Brahma put in his papers after BPF snapped its alliance with the ruling Congress. 

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Rampant smuggling of subsidized kerosene

12 Apr 2013 - 4:58pm | Arup Saikia

Rampant smuggling of subsidized kerosene (SK) oil is going on in the border districts of Assam.

The illegal trade is carrying out by procuring SK oil though fake ration cards. Major chunk of SK oil meant for Public Distribution System (PDS) in the state is being smuggled to Nagaland and neighbouring Bangladesh.

More than 50 % of the SK oil meant for PDS is released in the black market mostly in the districts which shares inter-state borders with Nagaland.

The illegal trade is carrying out by unholy nexus of food and civil supplies department officials and SK oil deport owners. Even railway officials are also involved in it as SK oil consignments are very often smuggled though trains to the business capital of Nagaland, Dimapur from Golaghat district.

Sources told this correspondent that 2000 litres of SK oil is smuggled on daily basis to Dimapur from Furkating station by trains which leaves the Furkating station early in the morning.

A litre of SK oil which is to be sold at Rs 14-15 under the PDS, cost Rs 48-50 per litre once it is smuggled into Nagaland.

Sources in the food civil supplies and consumer affairs department told this newspaper that against one family identification card (ration card) the allotment of SK oil is 4.5 litres. But around 50 % of the SK oil in the bordering districts of Golaghat, Jorhat and Sivasagar is released in the black market for sale in Nagaland territories.

According to the food civil supplies and consumer affairs department figures, SK oil procurement from January to December this year by the department is 27, 344 kilolitres whereas the present demand of SK oil in the state is 56,108 kilolitres. Which means a shortfall of 27,760 kilolitres is still in Assam.

In a situation when there is huge mismatch of demand and supply of SK oil, half of the quantity of SK oil meant for three districts of the state being smuggled to other state is a matter of grave concern, feels Asom Jatiyatawadi Yuba Chattra Parishad (AJYCP) president Manoj Baruah.

Baruah who is associated with several agitations against the alleged corrupt practice going on in the PDS in the state said the food and civil supplies department is fully responsible for the smuggling of SK oil out of the state.

“Besides the food and civil supplies department the district administrations should be equally blamed for failing to keep a track on the PDS in their respective districts. We want a high level inquiry to this matter and the state government has ensured that the SK oil which is meant for the poor people should be sale in the black market,” he said.

Sources in the food civil supplies and consumer affairs department told this correspondent that normally some 36,000 litres of SK oil is allotted in month to one Gaon Panchayat Samabai Samity (GPSS) in the three districts of Sivasagar, Jorhat and Golaghat which share borders with Nagaland.

Sources in the department also said out of these 36,000 litres some 18,000 litres are smuggled to Nagaland. In amount of money a sum of Rs 5.4 lakh of SK oil is being released to black market in month.

Same is the case with Karimganj and Dhubri districts of Assam which share borders with Bangladesh.

Here also SK oil is smuggled to Bangladesh territories and sold at more Rs 50 per litre. SK oil meant for PDS in Assam is in great demand in Bangladesh as kerosene is used as fuel to run the motorized country boats in that country.

Smuggling mainly takes place by the river routes though Steamer Ghat of Karimganj district of Assam.

Contractors gherao irrigation official

4 Mar 2015 - 8:06pm | Hantigiri Narzary

Hundreds of irrigation contractors from four district of the council gheraoed BTC officials including Principal Secretary Anupam Kumar Roy  demanding release of arrear bills in the secretariat of council in Kokrajhar. 

The contractors alleged that council concern department administration has responded partial and released amounting of several funds among liked contractors of which why large number of contractors deprived their allotted funds. 

According to contractors there are still pending of 30 crores under 2009-2010 and 139 crores under 2012-13 from irrigation department which was sanction from AIBP scheme, besides huge amounts are not released. The contractors alleged that concerned executive member and officials released the sanction fund on exchange of money among some selected contractors. They demanded early released of pending wealth which are to yet to get from concern department. They expressed serious concern over discrimination attitude as department official partially distributed all released from among some selected persons. 

They charged that officials saw a discriminated attitudes while distributing allotted funds. 

The contractors gheraoed BTC officials at secretariat office chamber and later officials held a meeting with contractors and shared about release of fund from  department. 

Anupam Kumar Roy, BTC Principal Secretary said that the council has released 170 crores with amounting of 40 percent under 2012-13 year among contractors and remaining 60 percent funds will be make shortly and processed has started through the official. He said that allotted funds were distributed among contractors as per directed from council. 

Poaching: Sonowal seeks centre’s intervention

7 Feb 2008 - 9:58am | editor

MP from Dibrugarh Sarbananda Sonowal has demanded Centre’s intervention to check poachings of rhinos in the Kaziranga National Park. In a statement released here, he expressed grave concern over the continuing poaching cases and demanded immediate intervention of environment minister S Raghupathi saying the Assam government has been failing to protect the Kaziranga National Park. Mr Sonowal observed that that the state forest department is busy in mudslinging instead of taking steps to check poachings in the national park.