GUWAHATI, July 4 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said that apart from developing the cities and towns to modern standards, the Urban Development Department and Town and Country Planning Department should identify other places which can be developed as towns and cities in future.
Reviewing the functioning of the departments at the Janata Bhawan here on Tuesday evening, Sonowal urged both the departments to work with renewed vigour and with vision plans to bring about a holistic change to develop the cities and towns of the State keeping in the mind the demands of the future.
Terming the safai karmis the primary stakeholders in keeping the cities and towns clean, Sonowal stated that society needs to give respect to these workers so that they can lead a life of dignity.
�Respect will give them a sense of belonging, which will motivate them to take cleanliness as their solemn duty and moral obligation,� he said.
The Chief Minister also asked the Directorate of Municipal Administration to provide uniforms along with gloves and boots for the sweepers and cleaners employed by the directorate in the State so that they get a distinct identity. Sonowal also asked the directorate to engage NGOs for cleaning localities and managing cleanliness activities at the micro level.
Directing the Urban Development Department to make a plan for erecting gates at the entry points of the towns and cities of the State, Sonowal said beautiful structures at the entry points of these places would uplift the beauty and provide the people a sense of satisfaction about their places of residence.
He also asked Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Urban) officials to expedite the fund utilisation activities to realise the dream of the urban poor to own a house.
Directing the Swacch Bharat Mission administration to achieve the goals of open defecation-free urban areas, Sonowal mooted the idea of constructing toilets near railway tracks and other such areas where open defection is rampant.
�People should be motivated to have a sense of ownership of the public toilets which would help in sustaining these toilets for a longer duration,� he said.
The Chief Minister also directed the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana-National Urban Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NULM) to ramp up its activities for providing skill training to the youths in urban areas. He directed release of Rs 15,000 each to 10,000 self-help groups � amounting to Rs 15 crore � in urban areas for giving an impetus to their economic activities through sustainable means.
Sonowal asked the Assam Housing Board to work with a vision and compete with the private players in construction of houses and residential complexes. He asked the Board to acquire technical competence and venture out of the State into the other north-eastern states for construction of houses by competing with the private players.
Directing the Assam Urban Water Supply & Sewage Board (AUWS&SB) to go for Public Private Partnership (PPP) in providing drinking water to the people in urban areas, the Chief Minister said that entry of private players would bring discipline and efficiency into the public water supply system.
Minister for Town and Country Planning Atul Bora, Minister of State for Urban Development Pijush Hazarika, Chief Minister�s Media Adviser Hrishikesh Goswami, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sanjay Lohia, Principal Secretary of Urban Development Department Ajay Tiwari, along with other top officials of the departments concerned, were also present at the meeting.