TNT News | December 31, 2017
As the year draws to an end, we take a sneak peek at 2017 and what it brought for Assam
The issue of ethnic identity, culture and the threat posed by illegal immigration continued to be a major talking point in 2017 as the new BJP govt which came to power in May last year started eviction drive against illegal settlers and played the slogan of protecting jati (community), mati (land) and bheti (home). Since November 27, over 700 families have been rendered homeless in the outskirts of Guwahati after the Assam government carried out an eviction drive – as per a Gauhati high court order – in the area declared as an eco-sensitive zone (ECZ) by the environment ministry around the Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary.
2017 made Assam home to India’s longest river bridge – The Dhola Sadiya Bridge. Spanning 9.15 km, the bridge is built across the Lohit river, which is a tributary of the Brahmaputra. The bridge is located 540 km from Assam’s capital Dispur and 300 km from Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar. It connects Sadia town in Assam’s Tinsukia district with Dhola village, also in Assam. A sum of Rs 2,056 crore has been spent on the bridge that can withstand 60 tonnes of weight, including battle tanks.
The state hosted the country’s biggest river festival Namami Brahmaputra festival in March, but rain played spoil sport. The govt, however claimed about major developments during the event as it signed agreements to dredge the Brahmaputra for better navigation and flood control. But the best is yet to be seen out of the dredging exercise as floods in Assam have become a persistent phenomena every single year.
Speaking about Brahmaputra dredging, the state witnessed one of the most devastating floods between July and September in which more than 150 people died. Kaziranga national park was hugely devastated. This flood also steered PM Modi to visit the state to take stock of the damage caused.
The state hosted a few major national and international sports events such as Junior world boxing championship, Senior national badminton and not to forget, the FIFA U-17 Football World Cup in Guwahati.
Militancy was in its lowest spectre as security forces continued their operations, killing and arresting several cadres, including ULFA among others. While there is remarkable drop in in the number of insurgency related incidents however states including Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, and Meghalaya are still under the grip of insurgency.
Taking an important step towards building effective trade and economic relations, Assam announced a Major global investors summit to invite investments. The summit is scheduled to be held in February 3-4, 2018
In vie of this, Assam reopened the river route with Bangladesh in October and a vessel carried goods to Bangladesh through Brahmaputra.
The issue of National Register of Citizens 1951 which is being updated in Assam to solve it’s long foreigner problem is in its final stage. A draft of NRC will be published on the midnight of December 31. The NRC issue had some controversial incidents as at least four retired Defence personnel (army and airforce) were served foreigner notices.
Assam had its proud moment as boxer Ankushita Boro stole the limelight as she was adjudged best boxer in junior AIBA women’s boxing championship held in Guwahati in November. She won gold in 67kg category.
“My younger sisters like sweaters a lot. Last time I went to Kazakhstan, I saved some money from our daily allowance and got them sweaters. At our home, two rooms are made of cement while my parents’ room and ours are made of bamboo and mud. If I win a gold medal here, I will use the money to get those rooms cemented. That will be the biggest gift to my family,” Ankushita was quoted as saying.