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Assam cabinet okays bill to ban 'magical healing'

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NewsDrum Desk
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Guwahati, Feb 10 (PTI) The Assam government on Saturday gave its nod to a bill to prohibit and eliminate practices of "magical healing" in the name of treatment, proposing strong punitive action against the "healers".

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The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

Sharing the decisions taken at the meeting on X, Sarma said the cabinet also selected 10 cities/towns for a dedicated sustainable development programme, and proposed to bring in reforms in the state municipal cadres.

The council of ministers approved the 'Assam Healing (Prevention of Evil) Practices Bill, 2024'.

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The proposed bill seeks to "prohibit and eliminate practices of magical healing in the name of treatment of some congenital diseases such as deafness, dumbness, blindness, physical deformity and autism".

"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.

For sustainable urban development, concept of ten cities development (Doh Shaher-Ek Rupayan) will be introduced.

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The implementation of the concept will be monitored and reviewed by a state-level steering committee.

Key components under it include solid waste management, clean and potable water supply, traffic management, urban planning and manpower rationalisation and capacity building.

The cabinet approved an amendment of the Assam Municipal Act 1956, through which roles and responsibilities of three state municipal cadres will be defined.

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It also gave its nod to the 'Assam Village Defence Organisation (Amendment) Bill, 2024', for improving the VDOs.

For administrative efficiency, an additional 352 posts will be created in the Assam Secretariat Service and Assam Secretariat Subordinate Services.

The cabinet further approved a Wildlife Safari and Rescue Centre at Namdang Reserved Forest under the Dibrugarh Forest Division.

It will be established at an estimated cost of Rs 259 crore and will showcase the biodiversity of the Northeast region and become a major tourist attraction. PTI SSG ACD

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