Gogoi expresses gratitude to PC for increasing annual plan funds

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New Delhi, Feb 5 (UNI) Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi expressed his gratitude to the Planning Commission (PC) for increasing the state's annual plan allocation by nearly 33 per cent.

Addressing newspersons here today Mr Gogoi said the Planning Commission has raised the allocation as they have appreciated the good work done by the state over the past one year.

He said this time the state government's main focus will be the resurgance of the state agriculture, which was going through a bad patch. Apart from this, the efforts would also be on flood control and soil erosion.

He said the state government had drawan up plans towards improving the health, education, vocational studies, sanitation and drinking water sectors in the state.

Mr Gogoi said he met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and discussed various problematic issues of the state with him. It was during this discussion he had requested that all Central projects, which were underway and expected to be taken up, should be funded with 90 per cent share of Centre and 10 per cent share of the state government.

During his meeting with the PM the important issue of the Border Area Development(BAD) also came up and the state government had conveyed that the situation was very bad and the Centre should fund that programme urgently, he added.

Respondig to questions, Mr Gogoi said the PM as well as Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Aluwalia had confirmed that they would be visiting the state next month to personally acertain the situation. During their visit they will also visit Majuli- the largest river island of the world-- where the Centre had allocated special fund to prevent the soil erosion.

Mr Gogoi also revealed that he met with Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibbal and requested him for setting up of three additional Micro Seismic Zone, one each in Silchar, Tezpur and Dibrugarh in the state to have continous flow of information on the seismic activity that were going on beneath the soil as the state falls under the seismic zone.

He said Mr Sibbal had voluntered to help the state in improving its agricultural productivity by adopting scientific methods.

Mr Gogoi also added that he had a meeting with Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and urged him to take up some of the long pending projects of the state.

Respondig to questions that the Railways could not undertake the construction of the Silchar- Lambding broad gauge conversion project as the state government had not provided the requisite security support, Mr Gogoi said from where the state government would supply the security personnel as ''we have acute shortage of security personnel in the state.'' He said the state government plans to recruit ex-service personnel for this purpose and it was expected to be completed over the next one and a half year and only after that the requisite number of personnel could be placed at their disposal.

Mr Gogoi said he also met Urban Developemnt Minister Jaipal Reddy and had a long discussion on various projects in the state.

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