GUWAHATI, Dec 20 � Cutting across party lines, members of the State Assembly today demanded that an all-party team of the House should visit New Delhi to put pressure on the Centre to grant the status of Scheduled Tribes to six ethnic groups of Assam.
Replying to a question by Membor Gogoi (Cong), the Minister of State for WPT &BC, Rajiv Lochan Pegu said that the matter of giving ST status to Ahom, Chutia, Moran, Motok, Koch Rajbonshi and Tea Tribes is now under consideration of the Central Government.
Pegu said that the expert committee formed to examine the matter of giving ST status to the six communities has already submitted the report and the same has been sent to the Government of India. The committee on Tea Tribes also submitted its report and the same would be sent to the Centre soon, while, the expert committees on Tai Ahom and Chutia communities are yet to submit their reports.
Not satisfied with the Minister�s reply, members of the House, cutting across party lines, said that the issue should not be kept hanging for years.
Congress member Anjan Dutta said that an all-party team of the House should visit Delhi to put pressure on the Centre in this regard and his suggestion was supported by all members.
Concrete bridges: PWD Minister Ajanta Neog today said steps have been initiated to replace the wooden bridges with concrete ones and within this year, work on replacing 650 wooden bridges should start.
Replying to a call attention motion by Monoranjan Das (AGP) in the State Assembly today, the Minister said that there were 5000 wooden bridges in the State in 2001 and 2700 of those have already been replaced with concrete ones so far. She said that at least Rs 50 crore a year is required to maintain the wooden bridges.
The Minister said that the Centre has agreed on principle to provide Rs 800 crore soon under the PMGSY to the State for replacing 400 wooden bridges. She also stressed the need for capacity building of the department and its contractors to cope up with the work load.
Earlier, raising the issue, Das said the wooden bridges have posed a threat to human life and that immediate steps should be taken to replace them.