Speed up projects’ implementation: Assam CM to DoNER minister

Guwahati, Aug 17 – Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Monday appealed to the central government to speed up the implementation of various projects in the state.

In a meeting with union Minister of State for Development of the Northeastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh here, Gogoi called for steps to expedite the completion of projects like multi-level car parking, waterways project and expansion of the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati and release of necessary funds ear-marked for these projects at the earliest.

He also requested the DoNER minister to take proactive steps to evolve a framework to address all delays in implementing the projects, according to an official statement.

The DoNER minister, who is on a day-long visit to Assam, assured the chief minister that all bottlenecks would be removed for quick implementation of the projects.

Because of the delays in executing the projects, benefits keep eluding the people for whom the projects have been envisaged, Gogoi said.

Gogoi also suggested that the central and state government officials should sit together to address all the shortcomings to avoid inordinate delays in releasing the funds and implementing the projects.

He also informed Singh that the development of the state without Special Category status would lead to slowing down of several developmental activities which might again lead to popular resentment and law and order problems.

The chief minister pointed out that the northeast required significant investment in infrastructure to enter into the next phase of development.

Roads, airway projects and development of inland water transport needed to be adequately funded to bring about inclusive development of the region, he said.

Referring to the expansion of the airport in Guwahati, Gogoi also urged the DoNER minister to take steps to improve intra-regional connectivity which would not only bring about all-round development of the northeastern region but also bring the region closer to the mainstream.

Gogoi asked the DoNER ministry to take up with the appropriate authorities the issue of increasing the frequency of flights to major cities and towns of the region.

On his part, the union minister 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 to Assam.

Among the other new initiatives taken by the Narendra Modi government at the centre was 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 a nodal destination in the northeast, Jitendra Singh referred to the steps taken by the central government for upgrading the LGBI Airport with the introduction of more flights for connectivity within the northeastern region and outside.

It is a matter of satisfaction, he said, that Guwahati was already directly connected with important cities across the country, including Kolkata, Delhi, Bengaluru and Jaipur, and in future this network would expand further.

While on the one hand, the central government would help in the improvement of the road network through four-laning and two-laning of the existing roads as well as construction of new roads, there was also a futuristic plan to extend the waterway transport facility along the Brahmaputra river, Jitendra Singh said.

National Waterway No.2 already exists and in the plan under consideration, 101 new waterways were envisaged to be introduced across the country, out of which 16 would be for the northeast. Out of these 16, 13 would be in the state of Assam.

Assam Chief Secretary V.K. Pipersenia and Additional Chief Secretary M.G.V.K. Bhanu were among other top officials present at the meeting.