Union Home Minister sets 2017 deadline for sealing Dhubri sector
Guwahati/ Dhubri, Jan 4: Union Home minister Rajth Singh on Monday admitted that there are "gaps" in the Indo-Bangladesh border and that maging a riverine border is a tough challenge.
Singh, who visited the Dhubri sector of the border with AASU leaders today, said two pilot projects on how to stop infiltration in riverine areas are going on and depending on the success of these two projects, steps will be taken.
""It is a 263 km long border. But gaps are there and these need to be filled up. Covering the riverine stretch is a problem. We hope measures can be worked out depending on the findings of these two pilot projects, which are likely to be completed soon," the minister said addressing a press conference.
Singh, however, added that he was not "entirely satisfied" with the sealing work, though he did not specify any details.
The Home minister also asserted that the India-Bangladesh border in Karimganj sector of southern Assam will be sealed by December this year, while the border in Dhubri sector in western part of the State will be sealed by 2017.
Concluding his two-day visit to the State, the Union Home minister also asserted the Central government's commitment to implementation of the Assam Accord.
He said he held talks with All Assam Students' Union leaders Sammujal Bhattacharya, Dipanka Kumar th and Lurinjyoti Gogoi today regarding the progress of implementation of the Accord.
On problems facing the State, Singh said flood and tural disasters are a major problem for Assam.
"The Central government would like to discuss about the problems of flood, erosion and tural disasters with the State government, and both should take initiatives for finding permanent solutions to these problems," he said.
The Home minister also expressed concern over reported encroachment of tribal belt and blocks in the State and assured all help from the Centre to free these lands from illegal settlers.
Earlier, addressing a public meeting at Bishkhoa in Dhubri district after visiting the border, Singh said that the NDA government led by Prime Minister rendra Modi wanted all round development of all sections of people.
"The Northeastern region had been neglected in the last 68 years, except during the tenure of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who for the first time constituted the DoNER Ministry for the development of the region," said Singh.
Security measures had been tightened in the border areas to prevent cattle smuggling to neighbouring country Bangladesh, he said, adding that 21 lakh cattle had been smuggled last year which has now come down to 3 lakh.