GUWAHATI, Jan 27 � Assam Governor JB Patnaik hoped that the proposed peace talks with the banned ULFA and other groups would usher in a new era of peace and prosperity, while maintaining that those resorting to violence would be dealt with sternly.
Hoisting the national flag at Latasil playground on the occasion of the 62nd Republic Day celebration, Governor Patnaik referred to the recent incidents in Goalpara, stating that �as recent incidents in Goalpara and other districts have shown, there are still some elements who will try to disturb the fabric of peace and amity prevailing among different ethnic groups within the State. However, as action taken by my Government indicates, the Government is ready to meet all kind of eventualities.�
The Governor also stated that the steps taken for the update of the National Register of Citizens will take care of concerns of all sections of the society.
On mega dams, Patnaik stated that the Government has taken up the matter with the Government India to address the grievances and genuine concerns regarding the downstream impact of the proposed construction of mega dams in the northeastern States.
Expressing deep concern about the problems faced by the people of Assam due to river erosion and recurrent floods, Patnaik said that the Government has decided to set up a separate authority for rehabilitation of erosion-affected families and also taken up the Assam Integrated Flood and River Bank Erosion Risk Management Project to tackle the problem with the use of latest technology.
�Assam Water Resource Management Authority will be set up for efficient utilization of water resources,� he stated.
On the development initiatives, Patnaik said, �From a position of acute financial crisis a few years back, the State has been able to make a turn-around, which has enabled the Government to implement the pay revision for its employees.�
The Governor, during his speech, also informed that the Government has taken some innovative steps to control rise in prices of essential commodities.
�10,000 outlets shall be set up throughout the State to distribute PDS and MRP-based items at subsidized rates. Enforcement squads have been set up to keep strict vigil on malpractices. Emphasis is also given on augmenting storage capacity of food grains and other essential commodities to tackle emergency situations,� he pointed out.
He went on to inform that the State has achieved record production in Agriculture and Horticulture.
�During 2009-10, about 44 lakh metric tonnes of rice were produced in the State which is 8.3 per cent higher than the previous record production of 40.7 lakh metric tonnes,� the Governor said. He also highlighted the achievements in the health and other sectors.
Laying special emphasis on the education sector of the State, he informed that a corpus fund will be created to provide financial support to the meritorious students for higher education.
�My Government has taken special initiative for infrastructure development of higher education and has roped in private players to set up private universities, engineering and medical colleges and polytechnics to ensure that talented students get enough opportunity for higher studies within the State,� Patnaik said, stressing, �The proposed establishment of Women�s University, Jyoti Bishnu Cultural University, Technical University and Ayurvedic College are major developments in this regard.�
On the developments taking place in major rail and road infrastructure projects, the Governor informed that the Union Cabinet has approved the proposal for construction of Dhubri-Phulbari bridge over the Brahmaputra.
The Governor took the salute at a march past presented at the Latasil playground. The function was attended by Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and senior officials of the State Government, besides a host of other dignitaries.
Various other Ministers and representatives of the State Government unfurled the tricolour in various parts of the State, including district headquarters.