GUWAHATI, Sept 18 - About a hundred senior citizens including senior journalists, retired vice chancellors, former IAS officers, lawyers and distinguished persons hailing from different walks of life met Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in the CM�s conference hall on Friday.
Hrishikesh Goswami, Press Adviser to the Chief Minister, welcomed the elders and explained the purpose of the meeting. Deepak Barthakur, Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board, explained the purpose of the meeting and requested the senior citizens to offer their suggestions to the CM.
Initiating the discussion, senior journalist and Guwahati Senior Citizens� Association president DN Chakravartty congratulated Sonowal on taking a laudable step for the first time in the history of the State�s administration of meeting face-to-face with opinion makers hailing from different walks of life, and explaining the agenda of his government.
He said the present government which assumed power on the promise of protecting �Jati, Mati, Bheti� (community, land and homestead), should be guided by the valuable advice of the senior citizens in particular and the Assamese public in general and at the very beginning, initiate practical steps to ensure that not a single agricultural plot is released from the hands of the indigenous communities for non-agricultural purposes and transferred to Bangladeshis or outsiders from the rest of the country.
He also suggested that a system be evolved in order to ensure fixing the number of days for which a particular file would be retained at the table of a minister, commissioner, director or any officer at the district level. He added that government order should be issued for fixing the time limit within which decision on a particular letter from a citizen is to be finalised.
Referring to the encroachment on Assam�s land by hooligans from neighbouring states of Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, Chakravartty suggested posting of brilliant officers with appropriate powers to tackle the border problems by drawing lessons from action taken by the great Ahom King Gadadhar Singha in respect of tribal encroachers.
�Since Sonowal has experience in the field of sports, he should ask the sports department to identify a hundred teenagers who could be trained by national and foreign coaches to build up a pool of sportspersons to excel at the international level,� he added.
DN Bezboruah, Dr AC Bhagawati, Dr Rohini Kumar Baruah, Ajay Dutta, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, Uttam Baruah, Dr Devdas Bharali, Dr Malati Baruah, Bijuli Sarma, Khanindra Chandra Das, Konika Bardoloi, Prasanna Kumar Barthakur, KD Chaliha, advocate Ganesh Nath, Baneswar Khound, Prof Dinesh Baruah, Dr Kunja Medhi, Subhabrata Sarma and MLA Nomal Momin offered suggestions regarding elimination of corruption at all levels, price control, welfare measures for elderly persons and improvement of education and tapping of colossal unemployment, and expressed the hope that with dynamism, courage and sympathy, Sonowal would be able to guide the destiny of Assam for years to come.
Chief Secretary VK Pipersenia, among others, also addressed the function.