GUWAHATI, Aug 16 (PTI): The Assam government will create ‘upa-jila’ (sub-districts) in all assembly constituencies for public convenience within a month, chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced on Tuesday.
Hoisting the National Flag on the occasion of 77th Independence Day here, Sarma said his government will take a decision regarding the districts abolished just before the delimitation exercise in two months.
“We have accepted the delimitation as reality. To take the constituency reorganisation to a logical conclusion, many things are to be done in the near future,” he said.
The state government will start a series of administrative reforms within the next one month, he added.
“All the existing sub-divisions will cease to exist. Except for the district headquarters, we will form one ‘upa-jila’ (sub-district) in every constituency with the entire infrastructure. An additional deputy commissioner will head it,” Sarma said.
The chief minister said that he hoped this administrative reform will end many problems, including agitations for new sub-divisions and districts.
The new system will be done for public convenience and there will be hardly any need for the people to visit the district headquarters for government services, he said.
“Regarding the districts that were eliminated before the delimitation, a correct decision will be taken in the next two months,” Sarma said.
On December 31, 2022, the Assam Cabinet decided to merge four districts with the ones from which they were carved out and made separate districts. Biswanath was merged with Sonitpur, Hojai with Nagaon, Tamulpur with Baksa and Bajali with Barpeta.
The decision to merge the districts was taken just a day before the Election Commission had imposed a ban on creating new administrative units in the state as it undertook the delimitation exercise.
On August 11, the Election Commission published its final report on the delimitation in Assam by retaining the number of assembly seats at 126 and Lok Sabha constituencies at 14.
At the central celebration held at the Veterinary College playground in Khanapara in Guwahati, Sarma announced that the government will soon start the process to hire 22,000 people in various departments, in addition to 86,000 people already hired so far.
He also said that the service of all TET-passed teachers will be regularised soon and availability of faculty members in schools located in difficult and distant locations will be ensured.
Referring to an expert committee’s recent report on the state’s competence to frame laws on polygamy, Sarma said a “strict act” will be brought soon to end the marital practice in Assam.
On corruption, he said that a total of 127 government employees have been arrested so far for allegedly demanding and accepting bribes.
“The process to terminate them from services is on now. By the end of our government’s term, we will try to eliminate corruption from Assam,” Sarma asserted.
The chief minister said a new system is being planned in which Rs 100 per day compensation will be given if someone does not get a government service on time, and the money will be deducted from the salary of the employee responsible for it.
“On the investment front, we are going to sign five MoUs that will entail an inflow of Rs 3,000 crore into our state. When we will have our second investment summit in 2024, the investment in Assam should touch Rs 2 lakh crore,” Sarma said.
Sarma on Tuesday said his government will take necessary steps to withdraw AFSPA from the entire state by the end of this year.
The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) is now limited to only eight districts of the northeastern state, he said.
Sarma also said around 8,000 “revolutionaries” have returned to the mainstream in the last three years.
“I want to assure the people of Assam that by the end of this year, we will take fruitful steps to withdraw the AFSPA from every district of Assam,” he said.
Since the beginning of its application in the state more than three decades ago, the extension of the AFSPA has been recommended 62 times, Sarma said.
The Assam government extended the ‘disturbed area’ notification under the AFSPA for another six months in eight districts with effect from April 1.
The ‘disturbed area’ tag was extended in Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao.