GUWAHATI, Jan 1 � Asserting that militancy had been on the wane with most of the outfits engaged in peace talks, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today announced a number of �special initiatives� aimed at boosting the spheres of education, health, rural development, border area development, etc.
The schemes would be in addition to all ongoing schemes, and an amount of Rs 5,000 crore would be spent on those over the next five years.
Some of the announcements include a NASA study tour for the first three position-holders of HSLC exam and computers to students securing 50 per cent marks in the exam, introduction of vocational courses in 1,000 secondary schools in the next five years, a new scholarship scheme for 50,000 lower primary and 50,000 upper primary school students, a super-specialty hospital in PPP mode with a renowned hospital of the country, 50-bed state-of-the-art cancer wings in all medical colleges, Rs 50-crore corpus for medical support for children below 14 years, a rehabilitation package for small and cottage industries, a new Act to guarantee public service and grievance redressal in a time-bound manner, a social security scheme for widows and the aged, and a special package for landless workers and daily-wage earners, a committee to look into the man-elephant conflict, etc.
A computerised photo and film archive in the name of Dr Bhupen Hazarika and a chair in Gauhati University for Ramayani studies in the name of Dr Mamoni Raisom Goswami were also among the announcements.
"Despite strides made on diverse spheres, Assam is still backward compared to other advanced States. Our emphasis is on accelerating the development process and on improving the human development indices," Gogoi said while addressing the media at his Koinadhara hills official residence.
Citing erosion as a more pressing concern than the recurring floods, Gogoi said that an amount of Rs 1,000 crore would be spent on erosion control in the next five years.
Acknowledging that land-grabbing in and around the city had been a major problem in which government officials and police were also sometimes involved, the Chief Minister said that special emphasis would be laid on implementing the Assam Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act-2010. In addition, a special tribunal would be set up to expedite cases relating to land-grabbing.
Expressing concern over the spate in blockades and bandhs and in reference to the ongoing blockade by the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) in protest against big dams, Gogoi said that protests should not be undemocratic and the spurt in bandhs and blockades was stalling the State's development process.