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GUWAHATI: The United Garo Autonomous Council Movement Committee has set August this year as the deadline for completing a comprehensive survey on population and socio-economic status of the Garo community in Assam.
As it is, inclement weather and funds constraint have posed a challenge for timely completion of the first-of-its-kind survey, which the committee hopes would lend momentum to the long-pending demand for a separate autonomous council for the community in the state.
“We have constituted two teams of four representatives each for conducting the survey in Upper and Lower Assam. They will resume ground work from May 15. So far, we have covered portions of Kamrup, Goalpara, Karbi Anglong and Bongaigaon,” UGACMC chairman, Alex K. Sangma told The Shillong Times on Tuesday.
The survey will also examine and analyse the socio-economic status, education (including statistics on graduates, postgraduates, school dropouts) and infrastructure scenario in the Garo-inhabited areas of Assam.
The demand for a separate autonomous council was first raised by the committee since the community was accorded Scheduled Tribe status in the plain districts of Assam in the year 2003.
“We have set August 20 as the deadline for completion of the survey even as we have had to garner our own funds. Inclement weather has affected progress of the survey of late. However, we hope to submit the report to the central and state governments by September 1 this year,” Sangma said.
The survey assumes significance as there is no census on the population of Garos in Assam at present even as it is assumed that the figure should cross the 10lakh mark.
The Garo community claims to be the second largest ethnic tribe in the state, after the Bodo community
The panel has put in place a network of members across Assam for online dissemination of updates and information in a bid to speed up the process.
Sangma reiterated that only an autonomous council could help Garos in the state determine its own development goals given the alleged lack of progress in areas inhabited by the community.