Lays foundation of Biswanath, Charaideo medical colleges
DHEKIAJULI, Feb 7: Launching the Rs 5,000 crore Asom Mala project for upgrading of surface communication in the state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said Assam has been able to witness fast development in every field including the health sector.
Expressing gratitude for the affection shown by the people of Assam, Modi also lauded the state government for its role in the rapid progress of the region. The Prime Minister recalled the glorious history of resistance by the region against invaders and sacrifice of the martyrs during the Quit India Movement of 1942.
In his 45-minute speech, Modi said that leaving behind the legacy of violence, deprivation, apprehension, discrimination and struggle, the entire Northeast today was moving forward on the path of development and Assam was playing a key role in this regard.
Modi stated that after the historic Bodo accord, the recent elections in the BTR scripted a new chapter of development and trust in the region. “This day bears testimony to a significant change in the fortune and future of Assam, as Assam is getting the gift of two new medical colleges in Biswanath and Charaideo and the foundation of modern infrastructure is being laid through Asom Mala,” he said.
Recalling the poor state of medical infrastructure in the state in the past, the Prime Minister said Assam had only six medical colleges till 2016, whereas work on six new medical colleges has been initiated during the last five years of the BJP-led government in the state.
“Biswanath and Charaideo medical colleges will cater to people of both the northern belt of the region and upper Assam. Similarly, unlike in the past with just 725 medical seats in the state, 1,600 new doctors will come out every year once these new medical colleges become operational. This will significantly improve medical facilities in far-flung areas,” he said.
Modi also spoke about his dream of imparting medical and technical education in mother tongue.
“I have a dream of each state having at least one medical college and a technical institution imparting education in the local language,” he said, promising to set up such institutions in Assam after the Assembly elections.
Modi said work on the AIIMS in Guwahati was going on in full swing and the first batch of MBBS classes has already started, he said the work will be completed in the next one-and-half to two years.
Referring to the apathy of previous governments towards Assam’s problems, the Prime Minister said that the current government was working for the people of Assam with full dedication.
Outlining the efforts to meet the medical needs of the people, he said that about 1.25 crore people in Assam are being benefitted by the Ayushman Bharat scheme as more than 350 hospitals have enrolled under the scheme. About 1.50 lakh poor people in Assam have received free treatment under Ayushman Bharat, and about 55 lakh people have availed primary treatment in the health centres established in the state.
Noting the importance of tea gardens in the growth of Assam, he said this year’s Union Budget announced Rs 1,000 crore for the welfare of tea workers.”
Modi said modern roads and infrastructure have a major role in increasing Assam’s capabilities. Keeping this in mind, Asom Mala has been started in line with the Bharat Mala project. “In the last few years, thousands of kilometres of roads and many bridges have been constructed in the state. The Asom Mala project will fulfill the dream of having a network of broad roads and connectivity for all villages and modern cities,” he said.
Speaking at the programme, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that due to the increased allocation to Assam in the Union Budget, the state has been able to make steady progress in the last few years.
Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also thanked Modi for his support to Assam during the COVID-19 pandemic, and said that due to the Prime Minister’s constant support, Assam is developing in all sectors.