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Barak Valley Hill Tribes Dev Council Chairman dingin Lalthomlien Neitham

Sunday, February 5, 2012

/ Published by Simon L Infimate
SILCHAR, Feb 4: Lalthomlien Neitham has been nominated as the new chairman of Barak Valley Hills Tribes Development Council by a notification of the department of welfare of plain tribes and backward classes on the orders by the Governor of Assam vide Dispur dated February 3, 2012. His nomination follows the unanimous resolution adopted at a meeting of the Barak Valley Hills Tribes Development Council on February 1. It is to be recalled that after the tragic death of former chairman Babul Rongmei, the post of the chairman has been lying vacant for the last 11 months. The absence of a chairman for a long time has stood in the proper functioning of the Council and the implementation of schemes and projects for the welfare of the tribal communities of the valley. It was at the initiative of the ministers and MLAs that the appointment of Lalthomlien Neitham could be possible, pointed out Thiampow Rongmei, office secretary of All Assam Tribal Sangha.

The nomination of Lalthomlien Neitham has been welcomed and appreciated by the 16 different tribal communities of the valley. Galim Gangmei, secretary of the Tribal Sangha, while extending his best wishes to Neitham, said reception and ovation have been planned to welcome him and for this a reception committee has been formed at Hmarkhawlein and Lakhipur.

Council chairman assures even development for all tribal communities

SILCHAR, Feb 5: The newly elected chairman of Barak Valley Hills Tribes Development Council (BVHTDC), Lalthomlien Neitham, was given rousing welcome by the members of the Council and his supporters as he arrived at Kumbhirgram Airport this morning from Guwahati. He was taken to his native village of Hmarkhawlein in Lakhipur subdivision by a cavalcade of around 500 people belonging to different ethnic tribes, riding cars, Sumos, Gypsies and motor-bikes. The chairman was accommodated in a specially decorated open Gypsy who responded to the ovation. At Hmarkhawlein, his reception reached its crescendo as more and more people from cluster of villages around joined to welcome him.

Addressing the gathering on the open field before his cottage, Lalthomlien Neitham, popularly known as Thoma, spelt out his action plan to work for the socio-economic development of various tribals belonging to 14 linguistic groups and settled in 555 villages of Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi. The particular focus would be on promoting the literacy among the tribals so that they could create their own employment opportunities as well as take advantage of those offered by the Centre and the state. In this competitive age, nothing could better their prospect than education. He said he would make special provision in the budget of the Council. Since his priority is development without any discrimination towards any community, the governance would be transparent and accountable, he assured.

So long the annual budget of the Council has been pegged down at rupees one crore only which is too meagre to meet the hopes and aspirations of the tribals. Every effort would be made, as he said, to increase the budgetary allocation to rupees five crore and the minister concerned Rajib Lochan Pegu has promised to do it. Lalthomlien Neitham further pointed out that since the state government has provided the platform to the tribals for their welfare, it is their responsibility to make proper utilization of it in their own interest. He disclosed his meeting with all the ministers and MLAs of the valley has been quite fruitful and they have assured of all help and cooperation in the smooth functioning of the Council.

The 32 year chairman made it clear that he has no personal ambition to protect his individual interest but to ensure all round development for all. It was most painful that the 16-member staff of the Council have not received their salary for the last two years. He took up the matter with the minister concerned and it would be his endeavour to get the salary released. For the convenience of the tribals of the valley, the headquarters of the Council would be shifted from Fulertal to Silchar and for this he would discuss with the Deputy Commissioner for the allotment of suitable land. It would also be his priority to set up the office with necessary infrastructure facilities. He also made a reference to the tragic death of Babul Rongmei, former chairman, who was killed by assassins on July 10, 2011. He placed the demand before L Phangcho, IAS, Commissioner and Secretary to the Government of Assam, WPT and BC Department, for CBI inquiry into his killing.

~The Sentinel

Photo: Juliet Gracious
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