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           _ m m m  (Guaranteed 100% Pure Local News from Assam) 
                       Vol.2, No.11 * May 3, 1999

   GUWAHATI:  To  cope  with  the  rising population in Guwahati city,
   there has been an unprecedented growth in the number of residential
   apartment buildings, which in turn has led to the  growth  of  deep
   tube-wells.  And  the regular use of such wells has resulted in the
   depletion of the level of ground water in the adjoining areas.
   However, the authorities concerned, which allow the construction of
   these  buildings  are  not concerned about the possible hazards and
   are instead  trying  to  put  the  blame  on  each  other  for  the
   unprecedented water   scarcity.     While  the  Guwahati  Municipal
   Corporation (GMC), responsible for supply of  drinking  water  have
   failed  in  its  task, the authorities responsible for ground water
   are still grappling with how to deal with the situation.
   The host of  authorities  responsible  for  ground  water  include,
   Guwahati  Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), Central Ground
   Water Board, Central Water Commission, Assam Urban Water Supply and
   Sewerage Board,  Public  Health  Engineering  department,  Guwahati
   Municipal Corporation, and the Directorate of Geology and Mining.
   An environmentalist expressing concern over the matter said,  that,
   water  scarcity  in Guwahati is not due to dearth of resources, but
   because we have not been able to harness the vast potential of  the
   mighty  river  Brahmaputra, which is flowing right across the heart
   of the city.

   TEZPUR:   Several  national dailies published from New Delhi, Patna
   and Lucknow reach the news stands in  the  Northeast  several  days
   ahead of  its  printed publication dateline.  According to sources,
   the New Delhi edition of The Sunday Times of India datelined  April
   25  reached  Guwahati  on April 22 and was available at Tezpur next
   day.  Another daily, The  Hindustan  Times  published  from  Delhi,
   Patna and Lucknow with publication date as April 24, reached Tezpur
   on April 23 morning.
   The  two  national  dailies were printed at least two days ahead to
   reach Guwahati on April 22.  It was  observed  that  the  April  24
   edition  of The Hindustan Times carried news items with April 21 as
   the dateline, whereas the April 25 edition of The Sunday  Times  of
   India did  not  use dateline with any of the news items.  It may be
   recalled that  on  April  23  there  was  a  nationwide  strike  by
   journalists and most newspapers ceased publication on that day.
3  NARESH KALITA RELEASED BY NSA BOARD                   [S:30-APR-99]
   GUWAHATI:   Acting  on  directions  from  the advisory board of the
   National Security Act  (NSA),  the  Assam  Government  released  Mr
   Naresh  Kalita,  the news editor of Assamese daily Dainik Agradoot,
   on April 29.  Kalita was arrested from his house at  Kahilipara  on
   charges of maintaining close links with the outlawed ULFA.  The NSA
   board, after examining the case and examining Mr Kalita at its last
   sitting on April 6, directed the Government to release him.
4  MUNICIPAL TAX HIKED IN JORHAT                         [S:25-APR-99]
   JORHAT: The Jorhat municipality has enhanced its tax rates,  to  be
   effective  form May, 1999, and simultaneously decided to revise the
   pay scales for the employees with concurrent effect.  The  new  tax
   rates and the pay scales have been passed by the municipal board. 
   The elected body also framed a by-law for the  municipality,  which
   was hitherto nonexistent, and will be passed in the next meeting of
   the board.   The municipality, formed in 1909, has been functioning
   under the guidance of a by-law brought from Tezpur in 1936.
   JORHAT:  The Jorhat police has been put to an inconvenience by  the
   management of the Lahoty petrol depot which abruptly stopped supply
   of petrol and diesel to the police vehicles for nonpayment of bills
   amounting to  Rs.2.7  million.   The police department is, however,
   managing its daily needs through cash purchase.
   The Superintendent of  Police  said  that  the  stoppage  has  been
   unwarranted as the department has been clearing the bills from time
   to time.    He said that the police authority proposed to install a
   depot of its own immediately.
   SHILLONG:  Several walls of Shillong have  been  literally  painted
   red  by  a German artist of French origin who is in the quest for a
   red-headed duck (Rhodonessa Crayophyllacea).  For  Antje  Poppinga,
   the  red  duck,  which  was  once  in existence in the northeastern
   region is a symbol of desire, the main theme which pervades all her
   works of art.
   Poppinga was in the Meghalaya capital recently to take part  in  an
   international   art   exhibition  --  `Art  as  spiritual  element'
   organized  by  Aarti  and  Design,  Dusseldorf,  Germany,   Escale,
   Germany, and Riti Academy of Visual Arts, India.
   Explaining  the  red  duck,  Poppinga  stated that this unique bird
   which is probably extinct, was last seen at Darbhanga, Bihar in the
   year 1935.  The total number of skins  of  the  duck  available  in
   world museums  is only about eighty.  She put up the advertisements
   in the city in the hope that someone would bring her the  red  duck
   and claim the reward of Rs.1,000 she promised.
   Poppinga said that she would be delighted even if anyone  presented
   her  with a painted duck -- that would prove that she had been able
   to generate interest among people about the bird which  once  lived
   in the  Khasi  hills.  In this way the bird begins to live again at
   least in the minds of the people, she said.  `Looking for something
   I am not getting -- it's rather the expression of desire and desire
   is never meant to be satisfied', she said.
   PATHSALA:  When at different parts  of  Assam,  Rongalee  Bihu  was
   celebrated  with  gaiety, at Sarthebari, the audience set fire to a
   Bihu stage on April 17.  The  Sarthebari  Public  Bihu  Celebration
   Committee,  which  organized Bihu celebrations for many years, also
   organized the celebrations this year with a four-day programme.
   After three days of peaceful celebration which started on April 14,
   the  large crowd that turned out on the final day to enjoy the much
   awaited invited artists'  cultural  show  was  angered  by  several
   announcement about  the  delay in starting the show. 
   Finally, when someone announced that the show  was  cancelled,  the
   irate  crowd went out of control and set fire to the screens of the
   stage and pelted stones at  the  organizers.    The  situation  was
   brought under control only after the police arrived on the spot.

   JORHAT:   Preparations  are  afoot to celebrate the tercentenary of
   Rongpur, the erstwhile capital of Ahoms with a three-day  programme
   in January,  2000  at  the  Rongpur  fields  in Sibsagar.  The Ahom
   capital at Rongpur shifted from Gurhgaon in 1699 and declared to be
   the permanent capital in 1707 completes 300 years this year.
   At the initiative  taken  by  the  State  Flood  Control  Minister,
   Promode  Gogoi, the people of Rongpur will hold a public meeting on
   May 2 to constitute a celebration committee for the programme.  The
   memoirs  of  the  600  years  of  Ahom  reign  --   the   Rongghar,
   Totalolghar, the  grand temples and the tanks etc.  are expected to
   get  special  attention   from   the   Government   towards   their

Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]
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