Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, on his first visit to New Delhi after the swearing in of the new government last month, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his official residence on June 12 and handed over a memorandum urging the central government for revival of flood management programme.
Sonowal said the flood management programme (FMP) was an important source of funding for taking up flood and erosion management work in the state.
Apart from flood being a major problem, river bank erosion also poses serious damage to the socio-economic scenario of the state, Sonowal said.
However, he maintained that since ‘river erosion’ is not included in the SDRF guidelines, quick and timely steps to counter erosion are not possible.
He, therefore, urged upon the prime minister to take steps to consider ‘river erosion’ as eligible calamity for consideration of assistance under NDRF/ SDRF.
Sonowal also sought Prime Minister’s support in expeditious approval of multiple Externally Aided Project (EAP) proposals worth over Rs 20,000 crores in key sectors such as Urban Development, Fisheries, Roads/Bridges, Tourism, Healthcare, Power, Water Resources.
With regard to North East Industrial Development Scheme (NEIDS) 2017, Sonowal requested Modi to impress upon the concerned ministry to make it more attractive to the industries with larger investments (Rs 10 crores and above).
He also said the cap of the Central Capital Investment Incentive under NEIDS 2017 may be enhanced to at least Rs 50 crore in order to attract mega industries.
The chief minister observed that with the Act East Policy, the BJP-led NDA government has repositioned the Northeast region as the country’s expressway to the ASEAN.
In order to take full advantage of this initiative and to ensure that the Northeast region becomes the “New Engine” of India’s growth, Sonowal sought urgent intervention of the prime minister for early completion of Asian Trilateral Highway from Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar up to Moreh in Manipur which would go a long way in restoration trade links of the Northeast with ASEAN.
Referring to agreement with Bangladesh for access of Bangladesh ports to vessels from Northeast India, Sonowal requested the prime minister for reaching an agreement to use Chittagong and Mongla ports for boosting trade of the Northeast with rest of the country through Bangladesh.
He also drew the attention of the prime minister for his intervention for the revival of two units — Nagaon Paper Mill in Jagiroad and Cachar Paper Mill in Silchar of Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC) in Assam.
Thanking Prime Minister Modi for Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Grameen) which has revolutionized housing for the underprivileged, Sonowal also sought his help for inclusion of the left-out beneficiaries in the Permanent Waiting List of PMAY-G.
Sonowal also said that under Modi, the Assam government has been working at an accelerated pace, in close coordination with the Union government and maintained that the funding pattern at 90:10 may be converted in to 100 per cent Grant-in-Aid from the central government.