Guwahati, Feb 19 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Saturday said the development of Assam and the North East has always been one of the priorities of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre, and that a number of projects have been initiated for the development of Assam.
Addressing the gathering at the foundation stone laying ceremony of National Institute of Design at Jorhat Campus in Assam, Dr. Singh said that the unique conglomeration of peoples, races, cultures, languages and religions also has unique needs of design development.
He said: "The National Institute of Design at Jorhat should leverage on the traditional craftsmanship of the region and help in giving a new life to the traditional arts and crafts in this area."
"At the same time, the institute should come out with eco-friendly design for adoption by the people of North East for modern industrial goods so that the modernisation and preservation of the ecosystem can go hand in hand. The promotion of the textile sector in the region as well as the initiatives under the National Bamboo Mission should also get support from this institute," he added.
Expressing his delight over the fact that a new institute is being set up in Assam, Dr. Singh said:
"I represent Assam in Parliament and to me coming here is like coming home. Our government has always been alive to the special needs of Assam and the North East.We have initiated a number of projects for rapid development of Assam. I am happy to note that the comprehensive project for protecting the Rohmoria area and Majuli Island from erosion is at an advanced state of completion.
The Bongaigaon Thermal Power project is likely to be commissioned shortly."
"The Assam Gas Cracker project is another significant project that has been taken up for implementation by the UPA Government.
We have also initiated several projects for improving connectivity. These include the gauge conversion of Lumding-Silchar-Jiribam railway line, Bogibeel rail-cum-road project, construction of the Dhola Sadiya and Numali-Gohpur bridges, 4-laning of NH-37 on the Nagaon-Jorhat-Dibrugarh stretch, and upgradation of several National Highways," he added.
Expressing confidence that all these steps will be able to address the development deficit of Assam to some extent, Dr. Singh said: "I am happy that the Ledo Opencast mining project has been commissioned.
A project for the preservation of cultural heritage of Majuli Natun Kamalabari Satra has also been taken up."
"A 250 crore additional package for the Bodoland Territorial Council area is currently under implementation.
Some important projects in Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Karbi Anglong and NC Hills districts are also being taken up under the Social and Infrastructure Development Fund announced in the Union Finance Minister's Budget Speech of 2008-09," he added.
The Prime Minister further said the UPA Government has taken significant initiatives to enhance the design innovation and application framework cutting across all sectors and disciplines.
"These include revamping the Designs Act and setting up Design Business Incubators. It is our hope that these steps would ensure that the rights of creative people are protected and talented people are trained in innovative processes, leading to creation of intellectual wealth," said Dr. Singh.
"Stakeholders cutting across all industrial sectors in India have participated in Design Summits held over the years to evolve an approach for "Designed in India and Made for the World" campaign," he added. (ANI)