The two-wheelers have been parked in many rows under the sun and rains for the last three months.

Wild vegetation is creeping up on the bodies, engines and batteries of the two-wheelers, which are decaying for constant exposure to the elements and non-use for riding.

This is the story of 380 red coloured gearless scooties, meant for girl students securing first division in the Higher Secondary Final Examinations in Lakhimpur district.

Awarded to the girl students by the Assam government under the Pragyan Bharati Scheme as Dr Banikanta Kakati Award, these vehicles have been lying under the open sky in the field of Tyagkshetra in North Lakhimpur for almost three months.

These two-wheelers could not be distributed due to the Model Code of Conduct that came into effect since March 1 till the announcement of the results of the Assam State Assembly elections 2021.

However, before the imposition of the Model Code of Conduct for the Assam Assembly election, Dr Banikanta Kakati Award ceremonies were held in North Lakhimpur on January 2 where two-wheelers were distributed among the beneficiaries, who cleared HS Examinations 2020.

According to the state higher education department, 816 girl students of Lakhimpur district were selected for the award.

However, as the scheme also covered the passed-out girl students of 2019 and 2018 batches, the distribution could not be completed before the poll ordinance.

As a result, 380 two-wheelers were left in the parking position in the open field at Tyagkshetra.

The mismanagement in the distribution of the two-wheelers has appeared to be an injustice to the deserving girl students of Lakhimpur district and it is also wastage of public money and resources.

The Dr Banikanta Kakati Award under the flagship Pragyan Bharati scheme was launched on December 20 last year by the Assam government to provide scooties to girl students to make their journey in the pursuit of knowledge smoother.

A total 22,245 girl students were selected for the award in that scheme at Rs. 144.30 crore in the first phase.

In the second phase, 15,160 meritorious girl students were selected under the scheme.

In North Lakhimpur, the district administration stationed two security personnel to look after the parked two-wheelers at Tyagkshetra.

They comprised one police constable and one Home Guard.

The local dealer of the two-wheeler brand also provided two technical staff members at Tyagkshetra for the same.

While the two technical staff members come for duty in the afternoon and stay overnight, the police constable and Home Guard remain there 24X7.

All the four people stay under a small shed of makeshift shelter without any basic amenities.

There is no drinking water facility, any usable toilet and washroom.

The shed also has no electricity connection.

However, the security personnel engaged there have been clearing the wild vegetation that creep over the parked vehicles.

Presence of snakes is also being reported on the wild vegetation that covers the two-wheelers at Tyagkshetra.

The presence of rodents also threatens the electrical wiring of the two-wheelers parked there.

As the monsoon is advancing this open air field may lead the parked vehicles decayed, damaged and unusable for the awardees that wait for their turn to receive them.

Farhana Ahmed

Farhana Ahmed is Northeast Now Correspondent in North Lakhimpur. She can be reached at: