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Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said the much-awaited update of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be completed by 2017. Delivering his speech after hoisting the National Flag on 70th Independence Day, Sonowal said, “To take our national commitment to its logical end, we are on a mission mode to complete NRC update by 2017. The state government is committed to safeguard the interests of each and every ethnic community, tribe and race,” the Chief Minister said. “With a view to prevent illegal influx through the porous border once and for all, sealing Indo-Bangla border is high on our priority list. We have taken for fortifying the barbed wire fence along the border,” he said.
The Department of Border Areas Development will be rechristened as Border Protection and Development Department to give more teeth to it, Sonowal said. Stating that his government is committed for an Assam free from foreigners, corruption, terrorism and pollution, he said “we are committed to make Assam one of the top five states in the country.”
The Chief Minister appreciated the youths for celebrating the Independence Day despite a boycott call by anti-social forces and said his government is adopting a policy of zero-tolerance towards militancy and insurgency. Regarding the flood problem, Sonowal said the State Disaster Management Authority will be equipped with modern gadgets to prepare itself to face disasters.
“Embankments as means to safeguard our rural economy. There are 1,250 embankments covering nearly 5,000 km area but most of them outlived their utility,” he said, adding existing embankments will be repaired and new ones erected.
Talking about unemployment, Sonowal said Assam will reap rich dividends if it can harness inherent potentials of 23 lakh educated jobless youths. A skill development department is being established and plans are on the anvil of transforming Industrial Training Institutes into Multi-Skills Centres, he said. Besides, the government will initiate schemes for skill development of SC and ST people along with empowering religious minorities socio-economically, he added.
There is also a plan to make Guwahati an international trade centre and declare ‘State Capital Region’ encompassing the city and its peripheral areas in line with the National Capital Region, Sonowal said. “We aim at making Assam self-sufficient on food production,” the Chief Minister said, adding women trafficking would also be stopped, he said.