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Reefer Vehicle Call-In Centre launched

Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh launched a Reefer Vehicle Call-In Centre in New Delhi on Thursday.

It would facilitate smoother transportation of perishable goods by providing redressal to issues that reefer van operators face on the highways.

The minister said that the cold chain sector is fast growing, and key products including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, confectionery and pharmaceuticals are critically dependent on it.

The RVC will help crate a database of bottlenecks and their types across the national highways.

According to him, the initiative, perhaps first of this kind in the world would provide help in registering the complaints of more than 30,000 vehicles carrying perishable goods like vegetables and fruits.

They can register their complaints on toll free number 18002676223. Complaints may include extortion, transit delays, harassment, etc.

The RVC is a joint initiative by the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, National Centre for Cold-chain Development (NCCD) and Mahindra Logistics.

Singh further said that interspersed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of introducing e-governance measures, particularly in the agriculture sector, the call-in-centre will help in enhancing overall productivity by improving connectivity.

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Namami Barak in November

13 Sep 2017 - 5:48pm | AT Kokrajhar Bureau

Hardly a year after Assam invited a hail of controversy over the Namami Brahmaputra festival, the government is now preparing to hold the Barak Cultural and Tourism festival in November.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Wednesday the festival  aims at promoting the potential of the river. “Let us discover the Barak to stimulate development in the valley,” said Sonowal.
Sonowal, who chaired the first organizing committee meeting said,” it would help us create an environment for reconnecting the people with their roots and rejuvenate the Barak valley civilization."

He directed the organizing committee to prepare a plan to successfully highlight the valley's rich culture, history, traditional cuisine, sports and its potential to emerge as an important economic hub.

Brown Mahseer conservation underway in Dima-Hasao

5 Nov 2014 - 10:15am | Syed Miraz Ahmed

Mahseer plays an important role in the river ecosystem and is very popular among international and local anglers. Mahseer angling rose to a favorite sport during the British Raj in India.

A total of four species inhabit different rivers and lakes in Northeast India. Among them Neolissochilus hexastichus (Brown Mahseer) is found in River Diyung of the Dima-Hasao district in Assam. This species has long been synonymized with other species of Mahseer until the recent publication of a research article in the Public Library of Science (PLoSONE), USA, which has revived the species to be a valid name (Laskar et al. 2013). It is endemic to India (Assam), Nepal and Myanmar. IUCN reports its presence in the River Brahmaputra and Barak drainages in Assam.

However, due to threatened natural habitats and narrow distribution range and unabated fishing the species is rapidly declining. Beginning 2011 researcher Boni Amin Laskar has been involved in awareness campaigns to save Mahseers in Northeast India under the Rufford Small Grants Project.

A village level awareness program themed “Save Rivers, Save Mahseers” was held in the Dehangi M. E. School premise in Dima-Hasao recently.  Eighty school students attended the program along with the teaching fraternity besides local villagers. Printed information on Mahseers were distributed in different localities in and around the district.

Addressing the gathering Laskar stressed on the importance of Mahseer conservation and explained how fish poisoning and dynamite explosions in rivers effect the Mahseer population and other aquatic life forms. He appealed the gathering to stop devastating malpractices of fishing that threaten the life cycle of the Brown Mahseer and ends long term harvesting of the species as food and game.

Following the program seeds of Brown Mahseer collected from River Diyung were stocked in Lake Dibarai in Haflong in a joint venture between the Rufford program and Waimijing (a local NGO based in Haflong). The objective of the venture is to boost Brown Mahseer seed production in Haflong and help replenish the depleting stock in the rivers.

Speaking on the occasion the District Fishery Development Officer assured all necessary assistance from the department to raise the brooders of Mahseer in Lake Dibarai. Seeds of Brown Mahseer are also stocked in the Jasingfa Aqua Tourism Resort at Dimoruguri in Nagaon.



Perception sweeps the Saraighat Film Festival

3 Nov 2015 - 4:15pm | AT News

The second Saraighat Film Festival, organised by North East Youth Foundation (NEYF) and supported by North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF), concluded in Guwahati on Monday. Organised at Bosco Out Reach, Ulubari, total ten (10) films were screened, out of which nine (9) were in the competition fray. The tenth film was a photo real and was not considered for the competition category.

Judged by eminent film and television personality Tinat Atifa Masood and filmmaker Vijay Naidu, the short film titled Perception was adjudged as the best film. The film is being produced and made by the students of Dibrugarh University under the banner of Niyor Productions. Viewers' choice award went to the film titled We, which was made by the students of B Borooah College.

Apart from different schools, colleges and institutions of Guwahati, there were also participants from Shillong-based English and Foreign Language University. SFF's theme is mainly on issues of human rights and the themes of the films that were screened on Monday varied from child labour to school-life bullying. 

Organised since last year, SFF is also a humble effort of NEYF to express its solidarity with Irom Sharmila's stand against Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, who has been on a fast since November 2, 2000 urging the government to repeal the act, which a number of civil body organisations have termed as 'draconian'.

The day began with a signature campaign initiated by NEYF. Titled as Repeal AFSPA for vibrant democracy, the signature campaign began from in front of Handique Girls' College and continued at several places across the city.

"Sharmila herself is an woman and we felt that it would be good to begin the campaign from in front of a girls' college. During the campaign we also found out that a number of youngsters today is unaware of Sharmila, AFSPA or her demand for repealing it," Ranjan K Baruah, Convener of NEYF said while speaking at length about the Saraighat Film Festival and its signature campaign right before the start of the festival.

"Through the film festival we want to chain together more and more youths and the young minds. The theme of the festival is kept simple and it is on human rights issues," Baruah further said, adding, "Through this platform today, we also want to put forward certain demands in front of the government. We demand that the AFSPA should be repealed soon, the MPs of Assam and North East should raise the question of repealing AFSPA at the next session of Parliament and lastly, no civilian should be harassed, killed or persecuted under AFSPA. To make our demands heard, we will also write the same in a post card and post it to the MPs of NE, requesting them to at least raise the question in the parliament."

Expressing her happiness about the quality and number of films received by the SFF at its second edition, Tinat Atifa Masood, said, "I am happy to see the number of entries this year. Although there is a lot to improve as per the quality of filmmaking is concerned, but efforts of these young people should be appreciated for they have come up with such different and vibrant ideas. I must thank the organisers of Saraighat Film Festival for hosting such a wonderful programme."

"It was good to see so many young people coming up with different ideas and touching so many delicate issues of the society. I wish them all the best and hope that the festival grows in stature in the years to come," Vijay Naidu said while delivering his speech.

Expressing their views, a number of participants also expressed their happiness and said that the festival has provided them with a platform, which they said they would use in a more holistic manner in the years to come. The festival was attended by around 60 people.