Assam Cabinet Unveils Comprehensive Administrative Reforms in 100th Cabinet Meeting
In a resolute effort to refine administrative processes and streamline governance, the Assam Cabinet, under the leadership of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, has undertaken substantial measures during its 100th cabinet meeting. The spotlight of these transformative decisions falls on the dissolution of 24 civil sub-divisions, the creation of 81 sub-districts, and the establishment of four new districts within the state. These sweeping changes, poised to bolster efficiency and responsiveness, mark a significant milestone in the region’s administrative landscape.
One of the pivotal changes involves the strategic dissolution of the existing 24 civil sub-divisions. In their place, a network of 81 sub-districts will be intricately woven, each seamlessly aligned with an assembly constituency. A noteworthy feature of this reconfiguration is the delegation of comprehensive administrative authority to additional district commissioners within these newly formed sub-districts. This decentralization aims to bring governance closer to the people, enhancing the accessibility of vital public services.
Alongside the sub-district reformation, the Assam Cabinet has unveiled the reinstatement of four new districts—Hojai, Biswanath, Tamulpur, and Bajali. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma revealed these transformative decisions during a press conference following the momentous 100th cabinet meeting. This strategic realignment represents a proactive step towards rendering governance more efficient and tailored to the evolving needs of the state’s populace.
The timeline for the implementation of these visionary changes is slated for January 1, 2024. The official notification for the creation of the new districts and sub-districts will be issued on a forthcoming Saturday. It’s important to clarify that constituencies encompassed by the Sixth Schedule Autonomous Councils will remain exempt from this administrative reshaping. Instead, consultations with stakeholders for these specific constituencies will be conducted at a later juncture, reflecting a commitment to inclusive decision-making.
Assam Government Announces District Mergers and Administrative Changes on Eve of Election Commission Freeze
As the year drew to a close, the Assam government made significant administrative decisions on December 31, involving the merging of districts and adjustments to the administrative jurisdiction of certain regions. This strategic move came just a day before the Election Commission’s freeze on the reshuffling of administrative units took effect.
During a press conference held in New Delhi following a State cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma unveiled the decisions, expressing that they were made with the welfare of Assam, its society, and administrative necessities at heart. While the changes were described as “temporary,” the exact motivations behind these shifts were not disclosed.
Chief Minister Sarma elucidated, “Biswanath district will be merged with Sonitpur, Hojai will be merged with Nagaon, Bajali will be merged with Barpeta and Tamulpur will be merged with Baksa.”
The timing of these decisions was necessitated by the impending ban imposed by the Election Commission on the creation of new administrative units in Assam starting January 1, 2023. This freeze was put in place to facilitate the Election Commission’s delimitation exercise, a process aimed at readjusting Assembly and parliamentary constituencies based on the 2001 census figures.
In addition to district mergers, alterations to the administrative jurisdiction of specific villages and towns were also enacted during the State cabinet meeting. Many of the merged districts were relatively recent creations, prompting Chief Minister Sarma to extend apologies to the affected communities while emphasizing the vital nature of these choices.
As part of the effort to ensure clarity and understanding, a delegation of State ministers will visit the merged districts to engage with leading organizations and citizens, providing insights into the decision-making process. While specific details cannot be disclosed publicly, Chief Minister Sarma highlighted that the police and judicial districts of the merged areas would remain unaffected, along with other offices and officers.
The Election Commission’s move to initiate delimitation as per the Representation of the People Act, 1950, was set in motion following a request from the Union Law Ministry. Delimitation involves defining boundaries of territorial constituencies, considering physical features, existing administrative unit boundaries, communication infrastructure, and public convenience.
As the delimitation exercise progresses, draft proposals will be published in both Central and State gazettes, inviting suggestions and objections from the public. With these comprehensive administrative changes taking place, Assam ushers in a new chapter in its governance landscape, aligning with evolving demographic and administrative needs.
Upon completion of these reforms, Assam’s district count will rise to a total of 35 districts. The historic 100th cabinet meeting, a landmark event in the state’s governance journey, unfolded within the venerable halls of the Brahmaputra State Guest House in Kharghuli, Guwahati. An official statement from the Assam government cemented the significance of this assembly, underscoring the government’s resolute determination to cultivate an administration that seamlessly caters to the diverse needs of its citizens.