Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh, currently on a two-day visit to Assam, held a meeting with Chief Minister Shri Tarun Gogoi at the State Secretariat in Guwahati today wherein he assured the CM of full assistance from Centre. The two discussed wide spectrum of issues ranging from various ongoing development projects, organic farming mission and prevailing political situation.
Dr. Jitendra Singh informed the Chief Minister of a number of recent decisions undertaken with respect to Central aid and assistance, and mentioned a recent grant of over Rs.27 crore of financial assistance for Assam. Among the other new initiatives taken by the Modi government in relation to Assam, he referred to the announcement of an exclusive Doordarshan Channel “Arun Prabha” and sanction of 18 new FM radio channels covering Assam and other neighbouring States.
Referring to the growing importance of Guwahati as nodal destination in the Northeast, Dr. Jitendra Singh referred to the steps taken by the Central government for upgradation of the Guwahati Airport with introduction of more flights for connectivity within the North-Eastern region and outside. It is a matter of satisfaction, he said, that Guwahati is already directly connected with important cities across the country, including Kolkata, Delhi, Bengaluru and Jaipur, and in future this network will further increase.
While on the one hand, the Central government will help in the improvement of road network through four laning and two laning of the existing roads as well as construction of new roads, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, there is also a futuristic plan to extend the waterway transport facility along the river Brahmaputra. National Waterway No.2 already exists and in the plan under consideration, 101 new waterways are envisaged to be introduced across the country, out of which 16 will be for Northeast and out of these 16, 13 for the State of Assam.
Assam Chief Minister urged upon Dr. Jitendra Singh to plead with the Union Government to increase the annual budget fund allocation for the State of Assam. Shri Tarun Gogoi also requested for expediting work in some of the pending projects. In response, Dr. Jitendra Singh informed the Chief Minister that a PSU by the name WAPCOS has been engaged for technical help and vetting of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) projects up to Rs.50 crores. He also suggested soliciting the assistance of Delhi-based States Resident Commissioner’s offices to overcome delays through personal follow-up. The multi-level car parking project in Guwahati will also be completed soon, he added.