Our lovely hometown Silchar and the entire Barak Valley is engulfed in a sea of problems today. Here at Concern For Silchar also, we are trying continuously to highlight the issues that our people are facing everyday. But as we ring in the new year, let us put our cynical hats off and dream of a Silchar that has achieved its true potential, a Silchar, that is basking in the glory of its riches and achievements.
Road to Redemption
The politicians and corrupt babus might have robbed us of a pleasant present, but our dreams are our very own, which cannot be snatchedaway by any neta or mantri. And probably these dreams will some day help usbring the change and take our homeland out of its present state.
So, dear readers, let our creativity fly today and imagine how development can change the very way our people live, work and travel.
· Railways: The hustle bustle at the Bhasha Shahid Station in Tarapur isalmost deafening today. Having emerged as one of the busiest rail heads of the North East, the station caters to almost a lakh passengers everyday. The Agartala bound Rajdhani Express coming from New Delhi has just chugged in. Due to the importance of Silchar as a major business hub, this train doesn’t go to Agartala directly from Badarpur junction, rather travels a few extra kilometres to come here. From platform number 4, the Guwahati bound Shatabdi Express isjust moving out. It will cover the distance of about 340 kilometres in eighthours. The train is a major relief for the passengers as the superfast train has stoppages only at Badarpur, Haflong and Lumding. The Imphal(Tuipul) bound Rajdhani is a couple of hours late though, it will make it tothe Bhasha Shahid station only by late afternoon.
· Road transport: Tathagata, an executive working with a multinational bank here is a busy man today. He has left for his office early in the morning and has a meeting to attend in Guwahati the next day. So he has decidedto take the 5 PM ASTC run Volvo to Guwahati. The luxury bus which leaves from the swanky ISBT at Ram Nagar will take him to the state capital within seven hours with a halt at Haflong. These hourly run Volvo buses under ASTC area major relief. They zip through the Mahasadak with ease. Communication withthe nearby towns like Karimganj and Hailakandi is thankfully a matter of few minutes today. The daily office goers conveniently travel from one town toanother now. Due to the construction of the Central Road - Premtala and Hospital Road – Rangirkhari flyovers, driving withinthe town is a great experience.
· Airways: TheJet Airways flight from New Delhi has just landed. The five daily flights to the national capital has been a big convenience for the last few months. The Airport has witnessed a massive facelift and there are flights round the clock to all the major cities. This has become possible simply because the business in the region has increased manifolds and a lot ofbusiness travellers are making a beeline for Silchar now.
· Business: Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata’s press conference is in progress at the International Border Trade Centre at Meherpur, Silchar. He has decided to construct a Tata Motors factory at the Dwarbond SEZ. Because of the strategic location ofSilchar, the town can easily cater to the business requirements of South Assam, Mizoram, Manipur and Tripura.The central government is also promoting Silchar as the border trade hub for promoting business ties with the neighbouring Bangladesh and Myanmar.The change in policy of the government has seen Silchar getting promoted as amajor centre for trade and commerce in the North East. The new MP from the Honest Party has promoted the constituency as not only a place of strategic importance but also the only peaceful region in the otherwise strife torn North East. Reputed publication houses and content writing firms that set up their centres in Silchar have opened up opportunities for arts graduates in the town. The Corporate Hub near the Dwarbond SEZ has helped absorb a huge amount of finance and technical professionals . A few International BPOs and KPOs have also shown their interest to set up their offices in the outskirts of Silchar.
· Art Culture and Education: Silchar has recently been chosen as the centre for the promotion of literary tourism. The Prime Minister had inaugurated the BhashaShahid Stambha at Gandhi Bag a couple of months back and the eleven language martyrs have been recognised as national heroes. The Language Research Institute at the prestigious Gurucharan College is a treasure trove of information about Bengali literature and other indigenous literary works of the North East. It contains rare manuscripts and hand written literary material collected from various sources across the globe. Researchers from all over the world visit the institute every year for research purposes. The Society for Promotion of Folklore and Ethnic Appreciation has planned a series of Folk concerts and exhibitions on the occasion of Poush Shankranti. Silchar being a melting pot of many ethnic races, the society aims at celebrating the diversity and aims to promote it through their folk tourism endeavours. The Centre for Conservation of Sylheti Literature, Silchar and the Department of Linguistics at Assam University will organize the Ram Kumar Nandy International summit on Sylheti literature for the third time. Assam University's collaboration with numerous NGOs and Corporates have seen many socio-economic, health and environmental initiatives in Barak Valley. It has helped in generating employment opportunities within the valley and thus triggered a sharp decline in the brain drain in the last few years
All the above mentioned pictures of development are not impossible. If Silchar can achieve its potential, none of the above seems an impossibility. However, today we are far from the target. As we welcome the new year with grand celebrations and wild parties, can't we take a resolve to work together even harder to ensure that like all festivals and revelries we can also celebrate the growth and development of our hometown someday ?