In a significant move, the Himanta Biswa Sarma-led Assam Government has approved a bill aimed at curbing the practice of ‘magical healing’ masquerading as medical treatment. At a cabinet meeting chaired by the Chief Minister, the council of ministers endorsed the ‘Assam Healing (Prevention of Evil) Practices Bill, 2024’, indicating a stern crackdown on such practices.
The proposed legislation seeks to prohibit and eradicate the exploitation of vulnerable individuals under the guise of treating congenital ailments like deafness, dumbness, blindness, physical deformity, and autism through mystical means.
CM Himanta asserted upon the necessity of such a bill to safeguard the poor and downtrodden from exploitation by charlatans posing as healers.
In addition to this significant move, the cabinet deliberated on various other initiatives geared towards sustainable urban development and administrative reforms. Notably, a sustainable development program targeting 10 cities or towns, known as ‘Doh Shaher-Ek Rupayan’, was endorsed to address key urban challenges such as solid waste management, water supply, traffic management, and urban planning.
Furthermore, amendments to the Assam Municipal Act 1956 were approved to define the roles and responsibilities of State municipal cadres effectively. The cabinet approved the ‘Assam Village Defence Organisation (Amendment) Bill, 2024’, aimed at enhancing the functionality of VDOs.
In a bid to bolster administrative efficiency, the creation of 352 additional posts in the Assam Secretariat Service and Assam Secretariat Subordinate Services was sanctioned.
Additionally, the cabinet gave its nod to the establishment of a Wildlife Safari and Rescue Centre at Namdang Reserved Forest under the Dibrugarh Forest Division. This project, with an estimated cost of Rs 259 crore, aims to showcase the rich biodiversity of the Northeast region while serving as a major tourist attraction.