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Legislators sensitised on State�s development

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Nov 22 - �Having a global ambition, the key to achieve sustainable development goal, lies in the ground level planning and resource mobilisation, in which the legislators can play a major role,� said Prof Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General of Delhi-based Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), while addressing the legislators of Assam here today.

Chaturvedi, who was speaking at the ongoing series of Sabal Bidhayak programme initiated by the Assam Legislative Assembly in collaboration with the Centre for Development and Peace Studies, Guwahati, further stated that Assam was the first State to come up with a roadmap for the purpose with �Vision Assam 2030�.

Elaborating on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), Prof Chaturvedi said the role of states and districts is extremely important to achieve this global target, which includes a set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice and tackle climate change by 2030.

In the fourth phase of the Sabal Bidhayak programme, stress was laid on sensitising the legislators to assume the primary responsibility of monitoring the implementation of development schemes in their respective constituencies for all-round development of the State.

John Borgoyari, north-east regional head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), while addressing the legislators, said that SDG is an extremely ambitious vision, requiring strong political will.

�Since the goals are interconnected, ground level implementation would require a proper system in place to track the developments. And that�s where the MLA�s role comes in,� he stated, calling upon the legislators to identify and adopt a village or panchayat in their respective constituencies and convert them into SDG model.

In his address, Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, Member of Parliament from Jorhat, said that MLAs must concentrate on monitoring development schemes in their respective constituencies and must also use all resources at their command to try and understand various schemes in operation. �Legislators must not be dependent on bureaucrats alone, because aspirations of the people can be fulfilled by proper implementation of the development programmes,� he stated.

During the interactive programme, the MLAs expressed their dismay at the poor state of development in char and tea garden areas, besides areas dominated by the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities.

Former MLA Rafiqul Islam said the major problems in the char areas of Assam are flood and erosion, large population, lack of access to education and lack of communication facilities. He suggested a land survey in the char areas, steps to improve the teacher-student ratio, establishment of banks and promotion of organic farming in the char areas.

Dr Amiya Sharma, Executive Director, Rashtriya Gramin Vikas Nidhi (RGVN), spoke about the disparity in development in the char and tea garden areas of Assam. �There is no insurance cover among 83.3 per cent of the char area population and 74.5 per cent of the tea garden population. The poverty rate in the char areas is 42.6 per cent and in the tea garden areas it is 37.6 per cent against the State average of 37 per cent,� he added.

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