GUWAHATI, April 26: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has urged the 15th Finance Commission to propose an inter-State border development programme in the Northeast for the benefit the States in the region.
Drawing attention to the Chairman and other members of the visiting 15th Finance Commission to Guwahati at a meeting held here on Thursday, Sonowal said that Assam has long international borders with Bhutan and Bangladesh. The State shares inter-State border with all States in the region. In view of this, Sonowal said: “It’s necessary to improve border infrastructure, including roads along international borders in the interest of internal security”.
Sonowal requested the commission to initiate steps for international border development and inter-State border development programmes to intensify vigil and other developmental activities along the borders.
Sonowal also stated that although the law-and-order situation in Assam has improved considerably over the last two years, the State still faces challenges from insurgent groups and radical religious elements. He also sought the intervention of the Finance Commission in terms of resource allocation for strengthening and modernization of police infrastructure. He also said that the area has suffered due to absence of any grant in the last Finance Commission recommendations for the State.
Sonowal requested Finance Commission’s recommendations to strengthen the prosecution machinery and related infrastructure like forensic laboratories etc., to ensure speedy justice from the Fast Track Courts in cases related to crimes against women. He informed the visiting Commission that of late the country has witnessed spurt in crime against women. In view of this, the State government has taken up the matter with the Gauhati High Court to set up Fast Track Courts. The Court has agreed to set up one Fast Track Court in each district and the Chief Minister has called for Finance Commission’s recommendations for capacity building of the courts and expedite their justice delivery system.
The Chief Minister proposed an embankment-cum-circular road to protect Majuli and requested the Commission to consider this proposal as top most priority for the State and give specific recommendations in this regard.
Sonowal also sought the help of the 15th Finance Commission for adequate resource devolution for the Sixth Schedule areas of Assam and empower them socially and financially.