Development works must not be stalled with the excuse of COVID-19 fight: Assam CM Sonowal

Guwahati, July 9: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday said that Development works not to be stalled with the excuse of COVID-19 and had held a video conference at Brahmaputra State Guest House with the Deputy Commissioners (DCs), Superintendents of Police (SPs) and Joint Directors of Health Services (Jt. DHS) of all districts and took stock of the COVID-19 scenario, flood and erosion along with the status of implementation of various developmental schemes.

Emphasizing the need for continuing economic activities in parallel to the fight against COVID-19 and other natural calamities like flood and erosion, the Assam Chief Minister directed the district administrations to ensure non-interruption in the implementation of developmental schemes with the excuse of the fight against COVID-19.

Saying that there should not be any discrimination against the people residing in the COVID-19 hotspots, Sonowal stressed on the need for the district administration officials to consult with the respective public representatives of their districts before taking any measure to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

He also directed the Jt. DHS of all the districts to ensure the patient suffering from other ailments, apart from COVID-19, get the required medical facilities on time.

Sonowal instructed the SPs to prevent mass gathering in their districts which might increase the risk of rapid transmission of coronavirus.

Directing the DCs to take steps for skill mapping of the returning Assam’s youths from outside the state so that they could be provided adequate employment opportunities, Sonowal instructed for engaging some of those returnees in the implementation of schemes like Jal Jeevan Mission while also providing self-employment opportunities through Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Assam Chief Minister also appreciated the sacrifices made by grassroots level workers of various government departments in this fight against COVID-19 and he said the people and the government must work together to defeat this global pandemic as the campaign has entered into a very critical phase.

He also instructed the DCs to plant trees to increase the forest cover in the state along with taking steps for making heritage sites encroachment free. He directed for expediting the work to provide land pattas to 54 thousand indigenous people by November.

Appreciating the administrations, police and forest departments of Golaghat, Nagaon, Sonitpur, Biswanath and Karbi Anglong districts for successfully curbing the menace of rhino poaching in Kaziranga National Park, Sonowal called for such sustained efforts to preserve the flora and fauna of the state in the future as well.

Media Adviser to Chief Minister Hrishikesh Goswami, Legal Adviser to Chief Minister Shantanu Bharali, Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna, DGP Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Sanjay Lohia and Principal Secretary of Health Department Sameer Kumar Sinha were also present in the video conference.