Correspondent

Mangaldai, Jan 31: Even after 75 years of the country’s independence, Darrang district lags behind on the infrastructure front despite having a huge potential in the agriculture sector, said Dr Abdul Hafiz, Chief Scientist of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Darrang, while addressing the open session of the Krishak Swahid Divas organized by farmers’ organization Krishak Sangha a few days back at Sankardev Jatiya Vidyalaya, Besimari, in the memory of the martyrs of the 1894 Pathorughat peasant uprising.

“I haven’t seen a more backward district in the entire country; Darrang doesn’t have a cold storage, doesn’t have an agricultural college, neither a four-lane highway nor railway connectivity. Even the KVK here is yet to have a permanent setup due to land issues,” he said.

The scientist also dismissed the allegations levelled by a section of people, who accuse the vegetable growers in the eastern part of the district of applying excess chemicals for sale in the market while growing vegetables separately and organically for their own consumption.

“I’ve conducted a survey, including a few senior government officials, and found out that the charges are not true,” Dr Hafiz added.

Speaking on the occasion, Bhupen Goswami, a Guwahati-based senior journalist and vice president of the National Union of Journalists, criticized the government for its alleged failure to offer adequate support to the marginal farmers, who suffered heavy losses due to the Covid-induced situation.

AJYCP vice president Bhabesh Kakati accused the government of ignoring the genuine problems of farmers and misusing power to suppress their legitimate demands.

The meeting, chaired by Krishak Sangha president Mozafar Hussain, was inaugurated by senior journalist Mayukh Goswami while Krishak Sangha general secretary Durga Ram Baraik explained the objectives. Senior advocate Majibur Rahman and Kharupetia College assistant professor Jakir Hussain also spoke.

Family members of local farmers Billal Hussain, Syed Ali, Akbar Ali and Abdul Karim, who had lost their lives in police firing while demanding minimum support price for jute in 2011, were also felicitated in the meeting. The daylong celebration also featured a cleanliness programme, flag-hoisting, paying of floral tribute to the martyred farmers, a farmers’ procession, a sapling plantation programme and presentation of songs by the students of Sankardev Jatiya Vidyalaya.