Assam CM asks for Central package for revival of eco conditions

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New Delhi, Sep 22 (UNI) A delegation led by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi here today called on Chairman of 13th Finance Commission Dr Vijay Kelkar and urged him to provide a total package for the agricultural, social, economic and industrial revival of the state.

Later talking to newspersons, Mr Gogoi said soil erosion followed by flood is the biggest problem faced by the state and it had already lost over four lakh hectares of land in erosion due to which the human pressure on land is continuously on the rise.

He said the soil erosion has affected 4521 villages and uprooted over six lakh people in the state.

''Assam needs Central help for the setting up of agro based industry, floriculture, horticulture, sericulture, fisheries, cottage industry and some major industrial units which could not only generate gainful employment to educated, skilled but also unskilled workers,'' the Chief Minister said.

Mr Gogoi said he also raised the issue of border area problems particularly from the state's long international borders which allows infiltration and gives rise to insurgency. This issue should be tackled with utmost priority keeping in mind the national security angle, he added.

He said some of the other issues which were raised during the discussion include the problem of providing safe drinking water to the people of the state, health and education and the long pending issue of Assam Gas Cracker.

Mr Gogoi said there was one good news that the Centre has agreed to bear the 100 per cent cost escalation burden as a result of the rise in salaries and allowances due to the implementation of the recent pay commission's recommendations.

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