Garo population survey work hampered in flood-hit dists

GUWAHATI: Disruption of communication by floods in some lower Assam districts has hampered population survey work of the United Garo Autonomous Council Movement Committee, prompting it to defer submission of the final report to the Assam government by about a month.

The committee had on May 15, 2019 embarked on a first-of-its-kind survey on the population and socio-economic status of the Garo community in Assam, which it claims to be the second largest ethnic tribe in the state, after the Bodo community.

“While the survey has been completed in Upper Assam, disruption of road links in flood-hit districts such as Dhubri and Kokrajhar has affected smooth movement of our members on the ground. However, we have set a revised date of August 20, 2019 as the deadline for collection of data and the final report will be submitted either in the last week of this month or in the first week of September,”  UGACMC (Assam state) general secretary, Thengsil Sangma told The Shillong Times on Sunday.

Currently, work is going in Goalpara, Mankachar, Dhubri and Kokrajhar districts.

The committee is hopeful that the Assam government would consider their demand for a separate autonomous council on the basis of a census on the population of the community in the state

The survey, recommended by the chief minister in December 2018, is examining the socio-economic and educational (including statistics on graduates, postgraduates, school dropouts) status of the community.

The committee members have so far surveyed a population exceeding 7 lakh with female members outnumbering male. The previous census (conducted in 2001) puts the figure of Garo community in Assam at 1.37lakh.

The demand for a separate council was raised since the community was accorded Scheduled Tribe status in the plain districts of Assam in 2003.

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