GUWAHATI, Aug 15 (PTI): Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today announced creation of five new districts in the state in order to bring administration closer to the public.
In his Independence Day speech after hoisting the national flag here, he said insurgent groups had lost support as people want rapid economic development in the state and voiced hope that remaining outfits would also join the mainstream.
"With the view to bring administration closer to people, I am declaring the creation of five new districts," Gogoi said.
The five news districts are Biswanath, Charaideo, Hojai, South Salmara-Mankachar and West Karbi Anglong, he said.
At present, Assam has 27 districts.
"The government has created a new post of District Development Commissioner for more effective ground level supervision of developmental activities," he said.
"A new service, namely Assam Land and Revenue Service, has been created for smooth maintenance of land records and other revenue matter," he added.
"Steps have also been taken for the creation of Garo Autonomous Council, SC Development Council, Development Council for Sut, Gariya, Madahi, Hajong, Kumar, Chaudang ethnic communities in Assam.
"We have been all along recommended granting of ST status to Ahom, Koch-Rajbongshis, Chutia, Moran, Motok, Tea tribes and ex-tea tribes communities to the central government without affecting the interest of the existing ST population of the state," the chief minister said.
Talking about fundamentalist forces, Gogoi said "the richness of our composite culture and shared heritage shall not be allowed to be defiled by the design or recklessness of a few."
On the economic front, the chief minister said, "It is a matter of grave concern that the funds, which flowed from the Centre for the planned development of the state, have got significantly reduced since last year."
It is feared that the state might lose Rs 9,000 crore.
This would adversely impact the growth and development of the state, he said.
He also said the state government would construct six lakh individual household toilets in 2015-16 under Total Sanitation Campaign and an amount of Rs 860 crore had been earmarked.
Gogoi announced enhancing of the state Freedom Fighter's Pension from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 from this year.
Expressing happiness on all major insurgent groups showing interest to dialogues, he hoped that remaining outfits would appreciate peoples' sentiment and come forward to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony.
"There is a general realisation today that violence provides no answers and that only engagement in the democratic process can enable diverse groups to fulfil their aspirations," Gogoi said.