Guwahati, Nov 18 (IBNS) : Speaking at the central programme of Namami Barak festival at Silchar on Saturday, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that Barak and Brahmaputra Rivers have same language and that language is of brotherhood, unity and harmony.
He also said that Namami Barak is not only a festival but it is a new journey to explore these parts of Assam.
Saying that this festival is organised to revive humanistic values, to discover resources and possibilities of the land, Sonowal stated that Namami Barak would boost our commitment to develop the economy of the state and motivate us to engage with renewed vigour to take Assam into high growth trajectory.
Sonowal said that Barak valley has been neglected for long and people of this valley have lots of anguish and disappointments.
Saying that Namami Barak is an effort to ensure that the people of this valley can move forward in equal footing with the rest of the state, Sonowal stated that just like Namami Brahmaputra was inaugurated by then President Pranab Mukherjee, Namami Barak is also fortunate to have President Kovind’s participation.
He also said that those forces inimical to state’s peace and development must be defeated by the people living across the plains and hills, Barak and Brahmaputra valleys of the state by staying united.
Urging the people to strive for building a society based on equality and harmony as envisioned by Swami Vivekananda, Sonowal said that Dr Bhupen Hazarika and Hemanga Biswas through their creations always tried to keep the bond of unity and harmony among the people strong.
“Central Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is giving lot of importance to develop Barak valley along with the whole of northeast. Railway ministry has introduced many new trains from Barak Valley and today also a new train connecting Silchar –Dibrugarh- Trivandrum has been flagged off,” Sonowal said.
He also informed that Dibrugarh and Silchar direct air connectivity has also started.
The Assam CM also requested Union MoS Railways Rajen Gohain to start a new train from Saurastra to Dibrugarh and Silchar.
“Construction of the mini secretariat at Silchar would start soon and Vivekananda Cultural and Research Institute is also going to be set up here, he said. A national level library would also be built at Silchar and a skill development centre would also be set up at Silchar along with two other districts of Barak Valley,” Sonowal said.
He said that though people had doubts earlier about government announcements but now that situation is not there as the government has fulfilled its promise of dredging the Barak River by starting works today.
“Although two dredgers are engaged now, three more would be added in the future, he said. River navigation from Silchar to the Bay of Bengal via Bangladesh would be started and this would boost the trade and business activities in the region,” Sonowal said.
Earlier today, Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated Namami Barak festival at Karimganj. During his inaugural speech, the chief minister announced construction of three new bridges over Barak River to improve road communication in the valley.
Saying that a bridge in each of the three districts would be built, Sonowal informed that PWD Department has already been directed for preparing Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the same.
He also made announcement of constructing a helipad in Karimganj and reviving the Sutarkandi International Trade Centre for growth of trade and business.
The Assam CM said that a skill development centre would be opened at Karimganj and the government is also actively considering setting up a medical college in the district.
“To improve the sports infrastructure in the district the state government would set up a state-of the-art stadium at Karimganj,” Sonowal said.
After Karimganj, the Assam CM also inaugurated the Namami Barak festival at Hailakandi and made several key announcements for the development of the district during his speech.
He said that Panchgram Paper Mill would be revived with Central Government’s support within next six months which has a key role in developing the economy of the region.
“A modern stadium for sports would be built in Hailakandi and a skill development centre would also be set up in the district for skilling the youth to enable them to find employment opportunities,” Sonowal said.
The Assam CM inaugurated today four steel shallow draft boats on River Barak and participated at the flagging off ceremony of Silchar-Guwahati-Trivandraum Express train along with Union MoS Home Kiren Rijiju and Union MoS Railways Rajen Gohain.
Governors of Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya, Deputy Speaker Dilip Kumar Paul, Union MoS Home Kiren Rijiju, Union MoS Railways Rajen Gohain, State Minister for Commerce and Industries Chandra Mohan Patowary, PWD Minister Parimal Suklabaidya, MoS for Power Pallab Lochan Das, MP Bijoya Chakrabarti, Housefed Chairman Ranjit Dass, CEM BTC Hagrama Mahillary, several MLAs, former union minister Kabindra Purakayastha, Chief Secretary V.K. Pipersenia , DGP Assam Police Mukesh Sahay were also present among other dignitaries.
President Ram Nath Kovind will attend in the closing ceremony of Namami Barak festival on November 21.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)