Coal import from Assam, Meghalaya resumes

Import of coal from the Indian states of Meghalaya and Assam through six land customs station of Sylhet region resumed yesterday.
Coal import came to a halt on April1 1 as the Indian exporters stopped supply, protesting sudden rise in excise duty.
Around 30,000 labourers at the land customs stations remained jobless for ten days due to the suspension of the import.
A six-member team went to Assam and Meghalaya on April 5 and sat with the Meghalaya Exporters Association in Shillong and Karimganj District Exporter & Importers Association and Assam Exporter & Importers Association the following day.
At the separate meetings, the Indian exporters assured the Bangladesh team of resuming coal export from April 10, said Chandan Saha, general secretary of Coal Importers Group, Sylhet.
Fifty-seven coal-laden trucks entered Bangladesh through the Sheola land customs station yesterday, said Sunandan Das, superintendent of the station. Coal import through the five other stations will resume in two or three days, he added.
About 15 lakh tons of coal is imported through the 6 land customs stations in Sylhet-Sunamganj region. These are Tamabil, Sheola and Bholaganj in Sylhet, and Barchhara, Bagli and Charagaon in Sunamganj.

Dima Hasao all set for polls

HAFLONG, Apr 9 – The Dima Hasao district administration is ready for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections with the polling personnel leaving the district headquarters for their respective polling stations from April 9.

Six poll parties for the remote parts of the district will leave Haflong on April 9, while the remaining polling officials will leave for their respective polling stations on April 10 and 11 under the guidance of zonal magistrate and sector officers.

The elections for the Autonomous District (ST) parliamentary constituency will be held on April 12 from 7 am to 5 pm and the counting of votes will be held on May 16 at Haflong.

The Haflong (ST) LAC segment is divided into 14 zones and 53 sectors. The total number of polling stations is 190. The total number of voters in the LAC segment of the Lok Sabha constituency is 134,651 (male – 68,411, female – 66,237, others – 3).

It is noteworthy that during the 2009 parliamentary elections, the total number of voters was 128,413 (male – 65,501, female – 62,912) and the voter turnout that time was 74,722 (male – 41,255 and female 33,467).

Carnival mood in Assam as youth and women flock to vote

Guwahati: 'Rongali Bihu' (Spring festival) seems to have come early to Assam with enthusiastic youth and women voters flocking to the booths in a carnival mood to cast their votes in the first phase of polling in five parliamentary constituencies Monday.

With Bihu round the corner, the pleasant spring weather also contributed to the festive spirit in the Upper Assam constituencies. Tea garden workers, mostly women, in Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Kaliabor and Tezpur in Upper Assam, dressed in their colourful best, were seen queueing outside the booths since 6 am, an hour before polling began.

''We want to vote early and become free for the day as the government has declared a holiday today. We want to relax and enjoy after exercising our franchise'', said tea worker Pratima Gowala of Moran in Dibrugarh district.

In urban areas, too, women were seen in sizeable numbers outside the polling booths as they waited patiently to exercise their franchise.

''We have decided not to delay in casting our votes. We want to be a part of the democratic process and prove the importance of our vote'', housewife Sunita Hazarika of Tezpur town said.

Youths, including 6.52 lakh first time voters in the state comprising 3.5 per cent of the total electorate, also flocked to the booths in hordes though later in the day.

''I am very excited to cast my vote for the first time. I am aware that my vote is valuable and will not let it go waste'', 19-year old Diganta Gogoi, a first year student of Jorhat Engineering College said.

Polling begins in Assam for LS first phase

Guwahati, Apr 7 :
Balloting for five Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam began Monday, marking the first phase of India's general election, officials said.
An estimated 6.4 million people are eligible to vote in Tezpur, Jorhat, Kaliabor, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur constituencies. Voting will be held at 8,588 centres in the five seats.
A total of 51 candidates are in the fray in the first phase. Assam will elect the remaining nine Lok Sabha members April 12 (three) and 24 (six).
Ten candidates are in the fray in Jorhat, nine in Tezpur, 13 each in Kaliabor and Lakhimpur and six candidates in Dibrugarh.
Among Monday's candidates are lottery baron Mani Kumar Subba (independent), Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi's son Gourav Gogoi, outgoing Congress MP Bijoy Krishna Handique, veteran Communist Drupad Borgohain, BJP state president Sarbananda Sonowal, union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs Ranee Narah, Mamud Imdadul Haque Choudhury of AIUDF, union minister Paban Singh Ghatowar, Rameswar Teli of the BJP and Anoop Phukan of the AGP.