People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXVIII

No. 05

February 01, 2004

Tripura Takes New Strides Towards Peace & Progress

 

AS part of the continuing follow up of the ongoing peace offensive against insurgency in Tripura, the sixth batch of one year vocation training camp for ex-militants who have surrendered formally went underway on January 22 at Lachi under Belonia subdivision in South Tripura district. The stateís governor D N Sahay inaugurated the programme.

In this case a voluntary organisation, the N B Institute of Rural Technology, is in charge of imparting vocational training to a group of 48 former extremists, who returned to the mainstream after laying down their arms.

In his inaugural speech, the governor lauded the stateís process of training and rehabilitation of the surrendered militants, once misguided from the mainstream. He said it was in keeping with the current worldwide concern for combating insurgency which is a severe threat to society and civilisation and has already taken a heavy toll on life and property, democracy and development at several places including Tripura.

The governor gave a fervent call to the still misguided militants to return to the mainstream and set themselves up self-respectfully in life and livelihood, as has been done by the youth who have surrendered and joined the vocational training under the government package meant for them. This way they could be partners in the progress of Tripura as also of the country in general, he said.

The stateís tribal welfare minister Jitendra Chowdhury, who presided over the function, urged the surrendered militants to carry the message of peace and progress to inspire the militantsí return to the mainstream.

According to latest information, out of a total of 397 who have surrendered so far, 301 have completed their vocational training courses. Out of them, 259 have been rehabilitated by the state government as part of its three pronged offensive against insurgency through administrative, ideological and developmental means.

 

NEW MOUíS SIGNED

 

REAPING the harvest of the Left Front governmentís ceaseless, serious and sincere efforts for insuring peace and stability in the state in the teeth of tremendous hurdles, Tripura received the best response from the second North Eastern Trade Summit, held in New Delhi on January 20-21. The first such summit was held in Mumbai in July 2001, and the third is scheduled to be held in Kolkata towards the end of this year.

Speaking to newsmen in a Civil Secretariat on January 22, a visibly jubilant chief minister Manik Sarkar stated that it was Tripura which prevailed over the entire summit by virtue of the most hearteningly massive response it evoked from industrialists.

He informed newsmen that the state has signed memoranda of understanding (MOUs) worth Rs 3,075 crore during the two day event. However, over and above it, numerous business organisations had expressed their intention to set up commercial and industrial projects in Tripura, including paper mill, oil and natural gas mining, university, handloom, food processing and methanol projects. The UTI Bank had offered to invest in Tripura and provide financial assistance to new projects by the stateís businessmen. An overseas organisation, named Johnson Designs, has proposed to purchase raw materials from Tripura to manufacture bamboo and cane products abroad.

Replying to a question regarding the long awaited establishment of a Medical College in Tripura, Manik Sarkar said that the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) has also promised requisite financial allocation for setting up the respiratory unit of the expected Medical College. The GAIL has also signed an MOU for production and distribution of natural gas in Tripura. For the said Medical College, the centre would grant Rs 300 crore from its non-lapsable pool funds towards setting up a befitting hospital. At the same time, negotiations are on with the reputed business house of Manipal group to meet the recurring needs.

Asked about the Super Speciality Hospital in Agartala being run jointly by the state government and private agencies, Manik Sarkar said the idea is to benefit the people of the state. The Left Front government is inviting private agencies as partners on the condition that progress, not profiteering, would be the sole motive in such joint undertakings, he affirmed.

One will note that the Left Front government is leaving no stone unturned to put up a viable alternative for development of this long neglected and landlocked backward state by utilising its own natural and human resources, and by involving the entire state population in the process of peace and progress. (INN)