GUWAHATI, Sept 19 - Union Minister for Panchayati Raj, Rural Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation, Narendra Singh Tomar today stressed the need for identifying the bottlenecks impeding the North-East�s development process and asserted that preparing a broad roadmap for sustainable use of its resources was critical to expediting its development, rural development in particular.
Addressing an interactive session at the Administrative Staff College where with State Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Ministers and government officials from 20 States deliberated on diverse issues concerning rural development, Tomar said that the key to development lay in corruption-free implementation of various developmental projects.
�Despite its abundant resources the North East has lagged behind in terms of development. We are committed to reversing the trend. For this, the impediments slackening its development process need to be identified and a broad roadmap prepared,� he said.
Holding the previous Congress Government responsible for tardy and corruption-riddled implementation of developmental projects in the region, the Union minister said that the need of the hour was to weed out corruption and ensure that every project was executed in a transparent and accountable manner.
He added that a lot of responsibility rested with the State ministers and government officials for time-bound, transparent and accountable implantation of government-sponsored projects. �I urge you to be vigilant and proactive in the implementation of schemes and projects,� he said.
Earlier last evening, Tomar had a meeting with the Chief Minister over implementation of rural development schemes. It was also attended by the Union Minister of State for Rural Development Ram Kripal Yadav and Minister of State for Drinking Water and Sanitation Ramesh Chandappa Jigajinagi.
The meeting primarily discussed various aspects to stimulate rural development and several other innovative steps to bring rural development into the prime focus of the Government. In the meeting several issues were discussed to push for expeditious implementation of the projects in the areas of rural skills and rural connectivity, rural livelihood, affordable housing, rural infrastructure with special emphasis on rural economy.
The Chief Minister drew the attention of Tomar to the recurring floods and erosion-induced damages to the rural economy of Assam, urging him to consider Assam as a special category State and declare special schemes for Assam so that socio-cultural and economic aspects of the State got a special fillip.
Sonowal also informed Tomar that the embankments along rivers played an important role in protecting rural economy and infrastructure, including roads and houses, and therefore, the Rural Development Ministry should consider strengthening and repairing these embankments.
He also urged Tomar to accord priority to PMGSY, MGNREGA and Deendayal Upadhaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana.