Manmohan announces Rs. 6,000 cr. for Assam

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CANDLE OF HOPE: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at a function in Guwahati on Monday.
CANDLE OF HOPE: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at a function in Guwahati on Monday.

Two projects will help the State to increase power generation

New thermal power station in Kokrajjar district to generate 500 MW Coal mining project to be set up in upper Assam's Dibrugarh district Two industrial training institutes to be upgraded, two more to be set up

Guwahati: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday announced Central investments of Rs. 6,000 crore in Assam to improve the State's energy situation. Dr. Singh described it as a New Year gift to the people of Assam.

Of this, Rs. 3,000 crore would be spent on a new thermal power station at Salakati in Kokrajjar district that would generate 500 mega watts of electricity, while another Rs. 3,000 crore would be spent on setting up a coal mining project in Upper Assam's Dibrugarh district, said Dr. Singh, who arrived here on a two-day visit to the State.

After laying the foundation stone for the project of the National Thermal Power Corporation, he said Rs. 3,000 crore would be spent on installing the project. This was is the biggest investment by the Centre in the region so far. Coal required for the plant would be procured from Assam. For this, the Centre would invest another Rs. 3000 crore for a coal mining project in Dibrugarh district.

Dr. Singh is scheduled to visit the coalfields of Upper Assam to unveil the new mining project.

Job creating potential

Dr. Singh said he hoped the new power project would help the State to increase power generation in which, he said, it lagged behind other States. He said Assam had a vast job creating potential in sectors like tourism and information technology among others, but could not fully exploit it due to shortage of power. Dr. Singh also announced the upgradation of the two industrial training institutes (ITI) and setting up two more for the introduction of job oriented modern courses in Bodoland Territorial Council areas.

Dr. Singh said that the proposed gas cracker project in Assam was approved by the Public Investment Board and now awaited the Cabinet decision. He promised to give Assam its due share in the Bharat Nirman project and said that unemployed youth would get job opportunities under the Employment Guarantee Act.

Later in the evening, Dr. Singh saw computer skills developed by school students under the State Government's Rajiv Gandhi Computer Literacy Programme at a function in Guwahati.

Under the programme, the State Government has provided 6,300 computers to 639 government higher secondary schools to reach its goal of a computer literate Assam.

Dr. Singh also gave the Professor Krishna Kanta Handique Memorial Award to renowned Sanskrit scholar Ram Karan Sharma.

In his speech, Dr. Singh described Sanskrit as "the basis of our shared heritage, our ancient civilisation, the foundation of our mellifluous linguistic traditions and the fountainhead of ancient wisdom, knowledge and spirit."



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