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Karbi Anglong gets Rs. 75 cr for projects
Correspondent DIPHU, OCT 28:
Published on 28 Oct. 2009 10:30 PM IST
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Dispur has started work on a Rs 75-crore special financial package for Karbi Anglong as the problems of the hill district are similar to those afflicting the neighbouring North Cachar Hills. Though the government is yet to make the package public, sources said it was an indirect gesture to engage the anti-talks Karbi Longri NC Hills Liberation Front (KLNLF) in a dialogue and create a pro-talks atmosphere to show its commitment to the district’s development. A breakthrough with the KLNLF was now a matter of time after the outfit had declared an indefinite unilateral ceasefire last month, they said. The militant group, however, had threatened to launch massive operations against the Hindi-speaking people living in the Karbi areas from this month if the government “did not show sincerity” to its offer of political dialogue. The KLNLF, a breakaway faction of the United People’s Democratic Solidarity (UPDS), is demanding creation of a Karbi homeland and a special economic package, among others. On October 16, chief secretary P.C. Sharma and additional chief secretary P.P. Verma discussed the special package at separate meetings with officials of the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council and the district administration. Wiser by its experience in NC Hills where funds were allegedly diverted and siphoned off by the autonomous district council to militant coffers, Dispur will directly monitor the projects’ implementation to ensure that funds sanctioned are properly utilised and on time so that more funds could be made available to the district. The autonomous councils in the two districts execute development projects with the state government hardly having any say in their implementation. Dispur has come up for these special packages from its own funds under the 11th Five Year Plan as officials of the two districts had sought its intervention on the development front. It has asked the officials to submit detailed project reports of each district estimated at Rs 25 crore in the first phase. The orders bore clear instructions that there should be visible and positive changes by March 2010 so that more funds could be made available to the two districts for development projects. The thrust areas are creation of infrastructure and community projects like schools, water supply, community halls, roads and health centres. “Our role will be similar to that of the Central government vis-a-vis development of the Bodoland Territorial Council. We do not want to fritter away the gains accruing from the mass surrender of DHD (J) rebels on October 2 in NC Hills,” an official said.

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