Tuesday, 9 August, 2022
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Assam man sails 6 km daily to provide banking services to villages cut-off by floods

Snippets from the vibrant Northeast that capture politics, culture, society and more in the eight states.

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New Delhi: For the past several days, Kashem Ali from Assam’s Barpeta district has been following a unique routine. Every morning, he carries his laptop, dongle, fingerprint scanner and a basic printer on a small boat and sets sail for over 6 km to provide banking services in seven villages of the flood-hit district.

An employee of PayPoint India, Ali is a customer service provider with the firm. PayPoint, in collaboration with State Bank of India, provides kiosk banking services, including withdrawal of funds from accounts of other banks to customers.

In a statement, PayPoint said, “He (Ali) has been providing this service daily…to over 2,200 residents…the villagers have no other means to access their own money lying in their accounts.”

Barpeta is one of the worst-hit districts in Assam, with the floods affecting around 468 villages. Furthermore, water released by the Kurichhu Hydropower Plant, in neighbouring Bhutan, has exacerbated the situation in the district.

Meat ban in place, Nagaland to have a dog shelter now

Less than a month after the Nagaland government decided to ban the sale and import of dog meat, reports have emerged that state authorities may soon have a shelter dedicated entirely to the animal.

An official from the department of animal husbandry and veterinary services has been quoted as saying that the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has asked authorities to allot a block for housing dogs.

A meeting was held recently by the animal husbandry department with the state home commissioner to discuss the possibility of a dog shelter.

Meanwhile, separatist group NSCN (IM) released a statement last week opposing the ban on dog meat, saying “it would be far-fetched to imagine that the Naga food habit will change simply because the Cabinet has passed the order banning dog meat”.

While claiming that Nagas were as concerned about cruelty to animals, the outfit also said it wasn’t acceptable “to force us”.

“What about other animals or birds? What to eat and what not to eat is not anybody’s business to enforce or decide. This is against the natural freedom of choice of food,” it said.


Also read: Epidemiologist turns Maruti Alto into ambulance to trace Covid contacts in Arunachal district


Manipur man announces reward to stop spread of Covid rumours about him

Chanam Ramesh, who makes a living by selling milk from door-to-door in Manipur’s Imphal West, has announced a reward of Rs 50,000 to anyone who can give information on the person who recently began spreading rumours that he and his family members have tested positive for Covid-19.

Ramesh has been quoted as saying that not only has the rumour affected his business but his family members have also come under scrutiny by locals. He clarified that no one from his family had tested positive for the virus.

Ramesh collects milk from Lamphel and delivers it to about 400 households in and around Uripok and Sagolband areas.

The state government had, in a notification earlier, said that sale and delivery of milk will be allowed during the statewide lockdown imposed on 22 July.

Agartala first among 10 smart cities of Northeast India

Agartala, the capital city of Tripura, has been ranked first among 10 other smart cities in the Northeast, in the national rankings of 100 Indian smart cities. It has scaled up from 76 to 54 rank in the countrywide rankings.

A total of 80 projects, worth around Rs1,479 crore, have been taken up by the Agartala Smart City Mission. Till July, 100 per cent of projects have been tendered by the Smart City Mission team.

One of the first projects taken up was reducing the problem of water stagnation in the city during monsoon.

The rankings of other Northeastern cities are Namchi, Sikkim (59); Aizawl, Mizoram (75); Kohima, Nagaland (79); Gangtok, Sikkim (80); Guwahati, Assam (83); Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh (89); Shillong, Meghalaya (92); Imphal, Manipur (93); and Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh (98).


Also read: Assam floods submerge Kaziranga, kill dozens — Why the annual season is so devastating


 

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