People in Belona village, situated in Assam’s Bajali district, popular as “Assam’s first clean and green village”, according to Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, 2019 allege that the village is still underdeveloped. 

Two years have passed since being declared as “clean and green village”, no progress has been made in regards to development in the village. 

Jitumani Das, a local of Belona village said, “We want to promote this place as a tourist spot. But this village is still underdeveloped.”  

“If the government sets up an entry gate, a museum, tourist resort, children’s park, community building and proper road connectivity to attract people from different parts of the world, then there will be good scope for the locals, as many people of this village are still unemployed,” he said. 

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He added: “So, I request Assam CM Himanta Bishwa Sarma and local MLA Ranjit Kumar Das to develop this place.”  

It may be mentioned that the locals of Belona village are environment-friendly. 

In fact, the locals impose a fine of Rs 500 on anyone who is seen using single-use plastic bags. 

Earlier in 2019, former Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal tweeted, “A community coming together to walk on the path of Swachhata. People of Belona have shown how conscious collective effort can beat plastic pollution.”  

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Taking note of this achievement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated the Assam administration for this remarkable achievement. 

Congratulating Sonowal, PM Modi wrote, “Very good! Cleanliness powered by community initiatives is always wonderful to see. Congratulations to everyone who has worked on this Swachhata effort.” 

In another tweet, Sonowal informed that many more villages are adopting similar practices, making ‘Clean and Green Village’ a mass movement in Assam.  

Sasanka Talukdar

Sasanka Talukdar is Northeast Now Correspondent in Pathsala. He can be reached at: sasanka140@gmail.com