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CM's mockery of foundation laying ceremony

It was really a mockery of foundation stone laying ceremony by the Chief Minister of Assam one day ahead of announcement of Lok Sabha polls in the country by the Election Commission of India on 5th March 2014. As soon as on March 4, the news spread that the election dates would be announced on 5th March, Mr. S. Vishwanathan, Commissioner, Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC), Mayor, Abir Patra of GMC along with other GMC officials approached the office bearers of the Ulubari Bazar Committee with information that the foundation stone laying ceremony would be done by the Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, the following day i.e. on 5th March at 11 a.m. They ordered dismantling of about two dozens of stalls in the market to provide space to make stage for the programme. The traders of the market were informed that they would be getting a good building for their shops very soon. They had to lose their shops and daily business for three days consequently..

The traders’ committee, namely, Ulubari Bazar Committee, a registered NGO, demanding better environment for business since its inception in 1971, was assured several times about getting super market in the year 1980 with fund provided by Hudco and then again in the year 2007, it was proposed to be constructed with the funds available from Asian Development Bank (ADB), but all such promises proved an illusion. This time also the traders were not sure, but the promptness of the authorities looking into the future prospects of the ruling party proved to be a ‘surprise’. It was announced that the CM would lay the foundation stone at 11 a.m. on 5th March. In the Evening of March 4, the news came in that the EC was going to announce election dates at 10.30 a.m. on 5th March. The situation was embarrassing for the authorities, but they conveniently managed to advance the programme for 9.30 a.m.

It was a surprise for the traders and local people when they heard that the foundation stones for the four (4) municipal markets were to be laid at the same location of Ulubari Bazar, whereas the name of Ulubari Market was missing in the list. The GMC markets for whom the ceremony was held were Ganeshguri, Fatasheel, Rup Nagar and Pub Sarania markets. The pictures of all the four ‘future markets’ were displayed. Except the Ganeshguri market other markets were not informed about the timings and the site, where the foundation stone of their markets were to be held.

Interestingly, no stone was used in the ‘foundation stone’ laying ceremony. The thick plastic boards were used in lieu of marble stones. The banner put on the function displayed the names of dignitaries including the PWD minister, who could not be seen at the stage. Before the local people could know about the official plans and fate of those markets the ceremony was over by 10 a.m. and people could know about the programme only after looking the traffic jams on the roads. Was it not a mockery, people have to decide themselves ?

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Daya Nath Singh's picture

Journalist; Guwahati Press Club office Secretary

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Gogoi hopes end to border row

10 Nov 2012 - 4:53am | editor

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi stressed amicable solution of to the simmering border row with Nagaland. He said it to the Assam-Nagaland Goodwill Team when it it visited him on Friday in Guwahati. He told the delegation that both sides sit together and arrive at a mutual understanding. He said that the state has good relations with Nagaland, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh despite border problems. An eight-member team of Assam-Nagaland Goodwill Team said the people of Nagaland want solution to the long festering Assam-Nagaland border amicably and peacefully outside the jurisdiction of the apex court.

Meghalaya registers cheating cases against Assam sports officials

5 Aug 2010 - 1:38pm | editor


Meghalaya police have registered a cheating case against two Assam sports officials charging them with impersonating as members of Meghalaya Hockey Association a day before Hockey India elections on Thursday.


According to information, these officials in question are Raj Kakoti and Sumita Sinha. The action came up after the Meghalaya Olympic Association lodged a complaint against them. According to allegation, the duo represented the state without any authorization and that they do not belong to any association or federation under the Meghalaya Olympic Association or sports department in Meghalaya.


Meghalaya State Olympic Association general secretary D Syiemlieh said,"Raj Kakoti and Sumita Sinha from Assam have claimed themselves to be members of Hockey Meghalaya with the malafide intention to be members of the Electoral College for the forthcoming Election of Hockey India scheduled on the August 5 in New Delhi." The act by the two persons to represent the State of Meghalaya without any authorization by anybody from the Association of Hockey of Meghalaya or the umbrella organization of the Sports Federations Associations which is the Meghalaya State Olympic Association (MSOA) or the Sports and Youth Affairs Department tantamount to an act of fraud with mala fide intention to mislead the Returning Officer of the Hockey India election.


Village Community Radio will give voice to people's issues

10 Jan 2009 - 1:47pm | editor
New_Image_141655844.jpg"Community radio is the real voice of the people, it is a communication service that caters to the interests and needs of a certain area, its culture, craft, cuisine and above all social and development issues," said Mridul Srivastava, the station director of 'Lalit Lokvani'.

'Lalit Lokvani', is a village community radio planned to be operational in Lalitpur region of Uttar Pradesh state (India). It is a joint initiative of a Sai Jyoti Gramudyog Seva Sansthan (a non-governmental organization) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), situated just 22 km from Lalitpur in Alapur village of Birdha block.

The 15 km transmission range will take in its fold 60 villages comprising around 100,000 population. While dry run has been initiated the actual transmission will start after getting the license from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. For now, the community radio station has been granted 90.4 megahertz frequency.

Mridul, station director and four reporters of the Lalit lokvani, interacted with the UP state media at 'Media for Children', a bi-monthly media initiative organized by UNICEF and 'Media Nest', on issues of women and children. Media Nest is an organization that works for the welfare of media persons and their families.

Mridul and his team of twelve village reporters, including two women, have been provided technical training in reporting, researching, programme production, and broadcasting. As part of their capacity building exercise, they have prepared programmes on local culture, festivals, development, women and health issues.

It is unthinkable that a daughter-in-law of a village can actually record radio programmes, edit and in fact help in solving issues of women, said Sunita Chandel, who shared her experience of being a radio reporter. She said initially there were lots of questions, but once the family and society realised how productive the work was, they gave their permission.

"I am both happy and proud after I became a community reporter," she said. "If it is difficult to step out of one's home for a daughter-in-law, then believe me, it is even more difficult for a daughter to do so, but I held my ground and today I am an example setter-for the village girls," said Varsha, a young community reporter.

This was the first journey outside Lalitpur for both Sunita and Varsha, and they were thrilled with this great sense of empowerment and purpose in life.

For the other two male reporters- Bhagwan Das and Kashi Ram the work has meant the unfolding of a new tool of communication.

"We get a chance to see the real issues of the people and through our work we even provide a solution," said Bhagwan Das.

As for Kashi Ram, being a community reporter was a great feeling of being useful to society and community. He said while earlier he was just a listener of radio today he is the communicator and he enjoys the work which gives him a chance to be a leader.

The Government of India made a policy of issuing private community radio licenses for 5000 stations in November 2007. This made it possible for registered non-government organizations to enter the field, said Augustine Veliath from UNICEF.

"UNICEF saw the potential of this communication medium and selected Lalitpur, one of its integrated project districts for setting up the maiden community radio station," informed Augustine.

"Such interactive sessions with the real people help broaden vision of the media. The idea is to sensitize the press, give them in-depth information on issues which they can then translate into reports and features," said Kulsum Talha, Secretary General, Media Nest.

- Citizen News Service (CNS)

- Photo credit: Media Nest