Assam Cabinet Unveils Key Decisions Ahead of Budget: Village Defence, Urban Development, Anti-Magical Healing Bill & More

The Assam Cabinet, in a crucial meeting before the state budget presentation, approved several important decisions including amendments to Village Defence & Municipal Acts, sustainable urban development plan, anti-magical healing bill, and more.

Assam Cabinet Unveils Key Decisions Ahead of Budget
Assam Cabinet Unveils Key Decisions Ahead of Budget

Guwahati, Feb 11: The Assam Cabinet held a crucial meeting on Saturday, February 10th, 2024, ahead of the state budget presentation on February 12th. Several key decisions were announced by Cabinet Minister Jayanta Mallabaruah, impacting various sectors in the state.

Strengthening Village Defence:

The cabinet approved the Assam Village Defence Organisation (Amendment) Bill, 2024, aiming to improve the functioning and effectiveness of the Village Defence Organisations (VDOs). This amendment seeks to update definitions, duties, powers, and functions of various stakeholders involved in VDOs.

Boosting Urban Administration:

Another crucial decision involved the amendment of the Assam Municipal Act, 1956, focusing on efficient urban administration. This amendment defines roles and responsibilities of three state municipal cadres – Assam Urban Administrative Service, Assam Urban Engineering Service, and Assam Urban Financial Service. It also addresses staffing patterns, appointment procedures, and powers & functions of key officials.

Ten Cities Development Concept for Sustainable Urbanization:

To promote sustainable urban development, the cabinet unveiled the “Ten Cities Development Concept (Doh Shaher – Ek Rupayan)”. This ambitious plan focuses on ten key cities: Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Nagaon, Tezpur, North-Lakhimpur, Bongaigaon, Silchar, Karimganj, Dhubri and Haflong/Diphu. These cities will serve as “Lighthouse” examples for other urban local bodies (ULBs) in the state.

The concept encompasses various aspects like:

  • 100% door-to-door waste collection and clean water supply.
  • Improved street lighting and public infrastructure.
  • Effective traffic management and urban planning.
  • Green and blue spaces like parks and water body rejuvenation.
  • Manpower rationalization, capacity building, and digital services.
  • Financial strengthening of ULBs.

Protecting Citizens from Magical Healing Practices:

In a significant move, the cabinet approved the Assam Healing (Prevention of Evil) Practices Bill, 2024. This bill aims to eliminate harmful practices of magical healing for treating disabilities like deafness, dumbness, blindness, etc. It prohibits such practices and imposes strict penalties on “healers” exploiting vulnerable individuals.

Additional Posts in Assam Secretariat Service:

For improved administrative efficiency, the cabinet approved the creation of additional posts in the Assam Secretariat Service and Assam Secretariat Subordinate Service. Additionally, the cadres of Computer Operators (COS) and Senior Grade Computer Operators (Sr Gr COs) will be abolished.

Wildlife Safari & Rescue Centre in Namdang:

Promoting wildlife conservation and tourism, the cabinet greenlit the establishment of a Wildlife Safari & Rescue Centre in Namdang Reserved Forest. This project, estimated at Rs 259 crore, will offer international-standard safaris, rescue facilities, and a veterinary center. It is expected to generate employment and attract both local and domestic tourists.

These critical decisions by the Assam Cabinet address diverse areas, paving the way for improved village defence, efficient urban administration, sustainable development, and protection from harmful practices. The upcoming budget presentation is anticipated to further elaborate on these initiatives and their implementation strategies.

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