By Rupam Goswami
The main goal of the BJP-led government in Assam is to make the State free of corruption, terrorism, illegal migrants and pollution. To reach this goal, the Sarbanda Sonowal government has introduced a new idea of teamwork med Team Assam which includes all the ministers, MLAs, government officials and other stakeholders.
In the era of Congress government, the graph of development of the State dipped very low. The BJP-led government began its stint with a previous debt of around Rs 17,000 crore and therefore it gave priority to augmenting its coffers. As a result, Assam has ranked first in tax collection among all States.
The new government in its first few days was also successful in collecting Rs 1,450 crore as royalty for petroleum from the Centre. Among all the States, Assam became the first to pass the GST bill. The GDP of Assam is also increasing gradually.
The present government is trying to bring about a new graft-free and clean work culture in the State. All the ministers are trying to establish this new work culture in their respective departments. The Chief Minister has been leading by example, working at his office regularly for 10-18 hours a day.
Here are some significant initiatives of the BJP-led government in Assam during its first year:
* In the Education sector, this government is trying to implement many new policies which include supplying free textbooks in government schools up to intermediate level, free admission to colleges, fee concession to poor students, free bicycles for students, cash awards for poor students, smart classrooms, upgrading a few colleges to university level etc. In the 2017 academic year, 52,22,969 students in lower primary level and 7,66,100 students in secondary level were benefitted by these schemes. There were also 2,03,435 students in secondary level and another 1,38,085 students of graduation level who benefitted by the free admission scheme of the government. The government also provided free bicycles to 1,54,199 students and cash awards to 4,666 students in the year. A total 100 high schools have been equipped with smart classrooms. Three colleges, mely Bojali college in Barpeta, Madhavdev College in Bihpuria and Hojai College in Hojai, have been upgraded to university level.
* In the Health sector, construction of three more medical colleges has already begun in gaon, Dhubri and North Lakhimpur district of Assam. A new cancer hospital is being set up for the benefit of cancer patients from North-East States. Amrit pharmacies are being established in all the medical colleges gradually to provide medicines at lower cost. The implementation of Atal Amrit Yoja has covered over 3,236 patients. The government is also going ahead with an AIIMS in the State.
* In FY 2016-17, the State government constructed a total 1,76,335 PMAY houses for BPL families. In the same fiscal, the government spent a sum of Rs 1,502.47 crore to implement MGNREGA in the State. The government also succeeded in providing electricity connection to 1,218 hitherto un-electrified villages. A total 70,802 BPL families have been benefitted by this scheme and got free electricity connections. The State government is also planning a mega rural development scheme with an outlay of Rs 30,000 crore med ‘Mukhyo Mantri Samagra Gram Unyan Yoja’ which will cover 25,425 revenue villages.
* A total 930 km of roads have been built under PMGSY scheme. The State government is aiming to make transport and communication easier for people. Embankments are being repaired before the monsoons and till the date, 85 embankments have already been repaired.
To utilise various opportunities available from the huge water resources of mighty Brahmaputra, this government is planning to undertake several schemes. It is planning to dredge 841 kms along the length of the riverbed with the help of the Central government and other organizations. During the recent ‘mami Brahmaputra’ festival, the government inked a deal worth Rs 1,26,000 crore for the scheme.
* During the Congress government, Assam was a consumer State — but after the BJP-led government took over, it has been striving hard to turn Assam into a manufacturer State. As a part of this massive endeavour, a new bill ‘The Assam Ease of Doing Business Bill, 2016’ was passed in the very first session of the Assembly. This law will help businessmen and industrialists from all over India establish businesses and industries in Assam without any hurdles. The Patanjali group has already established a mega food park in Ghoramara, Tezpur, investing nearly Rs 5,000 crores. The State government is also preparing to set up a land bank of 700 acres in the State to stimulate industrialization.
The BJP-led government is trying to introduce various new schemes for the welfare of people of Assam. It is giving high priority to develop infrastructure in the State. With the aim of developing the agricultural sector of the entire Northeast and to transform the region into an organic hub, a tiol level Agricultural Research Institute is going to be set up in Dhemaji district of the State. On May 26, Prime Minister rendra Modi laid the foundation of this institute at Gogamukh, calling for an ‘Evergreen Revolution’ in the State and NE region.
The State government has also succeeded in lowering the poaching rate of one-horned rhinos comparated to the previous Congress regime. This government has also been considerably successful in controlling price rise of various commodities in the State. In the past, the State suffered a lot due to endemic corruption. The new government is trying to bring about good governce in the State. The common people ought to help this government in fulfilling their dream of a beautiful Assam. (Concluded)
(The writer is Spokesperson, Assam BJP unit.)