Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 20: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal while putting forward his views during the 6th Governing Council meet of the NITI Aayog today, made a special appeal to the Prime Minister (the chairman of NITI Aayog) to give special exemption to Assam with regard to requirement of the size of land for establishing any project in the State.

Speaking at the meeting which was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi virtually, Sonowal said that taking into the consideration the paucity of land in the State, the NITI Aayog must give special relaxation to Assam for setting up any mega project here.

To drive his point home, Sonowal said that the density of population in Assam is 397 per square kilometre which is higher than the national average. Therefore, he, urged the Prime Minister to impress upon the NITI Aayog to grant exemption to so that the State can catch up with other states of the country for setting up mega projects.

The Chief Sonowal also requested the intervention of the Ministry of Power to explore the possibility of reduction in tariff for NTPC Bongaigaon Station for Assam.

He said that he hoped that the discussion in the 6th Governing Council meet would further help in chalking out the future roadmap for realising the development goal of the country.

Freedom fighters to receive benefits: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today held a meeting with the representatives of Asom State Freedom Fighters’ Association at his residence and announced that freedom fighters would be provided free healthcare while steps would be taken to increase their pension to Rs 25,000 from the present Rs 21,000.

Responding to the plea made by the Association, the Chief Minister assured to take steps for providing Rs 5 lakh each to the families of 19 freedom fighters of the State. He also directed the officials of concerned departments to take necessary steps for instructing the deputy commissioners of the districts to conduct the last rites of the freedom fighters in a dignified manner. Decision was also taken for initiating necessary amendment of Assam Freedom Fighters Relief Fund policy.

Freedom fighters Krishna Lahkar, Bholanath Nagariya, Puneswar Duwara, Gokul Gogoi, Phul Chandra Gogoi, Makhan Satname, Golapi Chetia, Kunja Konwar, Bhola Barua, Golok Hazarika, Phanindra Nath Kalita, Tolan Chandra Tamuly represented the Asom State Freedom Fighters’ Association in the meting along with its general secretary Dwijendra Mohan Sarma and secretary Dhiren Chetia.