NORTH LAKHIMPUR, June 21 � The Leelabari Airport will be upgraded into an international airport and a two-track broad gauge railway connection will be extended up to North Lakhimpur, promised Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs (independent charge) Sarbananda Sonowal at a public meeting here on Friday. Sonowal, who is the Lakhimpur MP, was addressing BJP workers and prominent citizens at the Vasudev Kalyan Trust Hall.
Sonowal was critical of some BJP leaders here for their clamour in seeking party tickets to contest the State Assembly Polls in 2016. Asking these leaders to serve the people, the Union minister said that all the problems of Lakhimpur HPC would not be solved within a five-year period. But he gave an assurance that he would definitely work to minimize the problems. Efforts are on to build a two-track broad gauge rail service in North Lakhimpur, Sonowal said, adding that the Leelabari Airport, too, would be upgraded into an international airport.
Earlier, the minister had addressed government officers at the Deputy Commissioner�s office here. While observing that the Lakhimpur district suffers annually from floods and erosion, Sonowal called for an improvement of the infrastructure of the district and also its conversion into a biodiversity hotspot. He stressed the need of implementing various Central Government schemes to tackle floods and erosion, and promote agriculture, irrigation, industry, sports, etc., in Lakhimpur district. The minister asked the government officers to identify areas vulnerable to floods and erosion and prepare a report on flood control along with notes on various developmental schemes by June 24.
During his tour in the district, Sonowal offered a sarai at the naamghar on the Chawul Dhowa Road, inaugurated a mineral water bottling plant, visited Bogeenadi and Dhakuwakhona and also inspected the erosion-affected Sisi-Tekeliphoota embankment at Dhakuwakhona. He also met the affected people at Bahir-Bogori, Modarguri and Takarchuk villages. Interacting with the local people, Sonowal expressed the hope that the flood and erosion problem of Assam would be declared a national problem.