May 18, 2017: Despite the promise, or rather a spirited tag line of “acche din aane wale hain”, on which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emphatically rode to seal the throne of Dispur, pathetic pictures in different gaon panchayats in Assam’s Hailakandi district where several poor families these days are passing their days under open sky reveal the bitter truth that “acche din” has remained a myth in this part of the state.
Speaking to TNT- the Northeast Today, the president of Nimaichandpur gaon panchayat – Moyna Mia told that atleast 30 beneficiaries exist in gaon panchayat who are facing serious problems these days. Not a single beneficiary has received the second installment for construction of their Indira Awaas houses under the Multi Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP), and as a result they are presently languishing in a state of worry and hopelessness.
Expressing his fury over the role of officials of the authority concerned for the troublesome circumstances, Mia said that because the block development officer did not take necessary steps in this regard on time, poor people of the gaon panchayat are facing problems.
He said the government had allocated funds under the scheme in 2011-12 and beneficiaries had also received the first installment for construction of their houses. Eventually, the beneficiaries, with the amount of first installment, started construction work of their houses, while their previous houses were razed in the process.
Sharing his ordeal, Sukkur Ali, one of the beneficiaries told TNT that he, after receiving the first installment, flattened his house and started construction work of his new house. That was the biggest mistake of his life, he rued.
Ali, who had to pass intermittent rainfall in a tent with his kids, said the hope of a “gift from the government” has presently put his family in dire straits.
The president of Aynakhal gaon panchayat under Lala block- Choudhury Charan Gaur said, “Houses of atleast 11 beneficiaries are hanging in an incomplete state currently and the situation has arisen only due to the slapdash attitude of the authority concerned.”
He said alike other gaon panchayats of Hailakandi district, names of beneficiaries of Aynakhal gaon panchayat too were included in the list and they were about to get Indira Awaas houses under the MSDP. However, the beneficiaries have landed in deep trouble as they had to stop construction of houses for they did not receive the second installment so far. Moreover, almost all of them have demolished their previous houses.
On being contacted regarding the matter, the Lala block development officer – Robin Das told TNT that necessary actions would be taken very soon so that beneficiaries get the second installment for construction of their houses under the MSDP. Meetings were held at the administration level in this regard and hopefully the issue would be solved soon, he added.
Not only Indira Awaas Yojana, but there have been allegations of anomalies in implementation of many other government schemes in various locations of Barak Valley. Most of the gaon panchayats of the valley hog headlines for affairs related to corruption (anomalies, embezzlement of government funds and such others) and it is high time that stringent measures be taken in this regard.
At a time when it seems like the Narendra Modi led BJP government is launching crusades every second day to eradicate corruption from the country and is aiming for a corruption-free India, movements in Barak Valley too need an impetus so that the common masses can relish “acche din” in true sense.
-By Swapnaneel Bhattacharjee for TNT- The Northeast Today
The writer can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org