Assam cabinet approves bill to prohibit ‘magical healing’

Additionally, the cabinet endorsed the establishment of a Wildlife Safari & Rescue Centre in Namdang Reserved Forest, Dibrugarh district, along with the adoption of the “Ten Cities Development Concept” to drive comprehensive urban growth.

| Updated: 11 February, 2024 6:29 pm IST
Assam cabinet implements sweeping reforms: Ban on 'magical healing'

NEW DELHI:ย In a bold move aimed at protecting citizens from exploitative practices and fostering sustainable urban development, the Assam cabinet, under the leadership of CM Himanta Biswa Sarma, has announced a series of transformative measures.ย 

The cabinet meeting held in Guwahati witnessed the greenlighting of crucial initiatives, including the proposal of the Assam Healing (Prevention of Evil) Practices Bill, 2024, to crackdown on fraudulent magical healing practices masquerading as medical treatment.

Additionally, the cabinet endorsed the establishment of a Wildlife Safari & Rescue Centre in Namdang Reserved Forest, Dibrugarh district, along with the adoption of the “Ten Cities Development Concept” to drive comprehensive urban growth.

Crackdown on Exploitative Practices:

The proposed Assam Healing (Prevention of Evil) Practices Bill, 2024, signifies a decisive step towards eradicating deceptive magical healing practices preying on vulnerable people. Chief Minister Himanta emphasised the bill’s intent to impose stringent penalties on those exploiting the economically disadvantaged through fraudulent claims of treating congenital diseases like deafness, dumbness, blindness, physical deformities, and autism.

The legislation aims to completely ban such exploitative practices and ensure perpetrators face imprisonment and fines, reaffirming the government’s commitment to upholding ethical healthcare standards.

Urban Development Initiatives:

In a bid to foster sustainable urban development, the cabinet endorsed the “Ten Cities Development Concept (Doh Shaher-Ek Rupayan),” targeting comprehensive growth across 10 key cities, including Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, and Jorhat. This initiative will serve as a blueprint for enhancing infrastructure, solid waste management, clean water supply, traffic management, urban planning, and capacity building, ensuring holistic progress and improved quality of life for residents.

“It will prohibit such healing sessions completely and provide strong punitive action against ‘healers’ extorting the poor and downtrodden people in the name of treatment,” the CM wrote on X.
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For sustainable urban development, the concept of 10 cities development (Doh Shaher-Ek Rupayan) will be introduced. The implementation of the concept will be monitored and reviewed by a state-level steering committee.

Administrative Efficiency:

To streamline urban administration, the cabinet approved amendments to the Assam Municipal Act, 1956, and the Village Defence Organisation (Amendment) Bill, 2024. These measures aim to define clear roles and responsibilities within municipal cadres, enhancing efficiency and governance effectiveness in urban areas.

Additionally, the creation of 352 new posts in the Assam Secretariat Service and Assam Secretariat Subordinate Service reflects the government’s commitment to bolstering administrative capacities and delivering efficient public services.

Wildlife Conservation and Tourism:

The approval of the Wildlife Safari & Rescue Centre in Namdang Reserved Forest, Dibrugarh district, marks a significant milestone in wildlife conservation and tourism promotion. With an estimated project cost of Rs 259 crore, the centre will showcase the rich biodiversity of the Northeast region, offering international-standard safaris, walking trails, aviaries, veterinary facilities, and rescue services.

This initiative is poised to boost tourism and create employment opportunities while preserving the region’s natural heritage.

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