GUWAHATI: For the first time in the history of Assam Legislative Assembly, an entire day was devoted to discuss various problems and issues plaguing the Barak Valley. The development which was an initiative of the Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami took place during the second day of the ongoing summer session of the Assembly.
Participating in the discussion on ‘Socio-Economic Development-Barak Valley’, MLAs from both ruling and opposing benches stressed that development of Assam in true sense of the term is impossible sans Barak Valley. Altogether 20 MLAs who participated in the discussion were of the opinion that Assam’s connectivity with South East Asian countries will be easier with faster development of Barak Valley.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal while participating in the discussion informed the House that his government is committed to equal development of the Brahmaputra and Barak valleys from the very beginning, and several steps have been taken to boost development in both the valleys.
“Realizing the importance of Barak Valley, my government has started the process of setting up a mini secretariat there. Once the mini secretariat is established in Barak Valley the people will not have come down to the Brahmaputra Valley for various official and administrative works. It will ensure decentralization of power,” Sonowal said, adding that his government has taken up the matter of developing Greenfield airports in Barak Valley, with the Central Government to improve air connectivity.
Sonowal said he will approach the Centre to develop the India-Bangladesh border at Karimganj in line with the India-Pakistan border at Wagah to attract tourists as well as promote nationalistic sentiment. He said his government is making all efforts to do away with the sense of alienation prevalent among the people of Barak Valley.
While asserting that differences between the people of Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys are slowing disappearing, Assam BJP president and MLA Ranjeet Kumar Dass said corruption in Barak Valley must come to an end for its faster development.
Congress MLA Rajdeep Gowala said connectivity is a major issue in Barak Valley and completion of the East West Corridor will only resolve transportation woes. He demanded uniformity in wages being paid to tea workers in Barak and Brahmaputra valleys.
Finally, Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami exhorted the ministers concerned to devote their time and energy for faster development of Barak Valley.