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BJP vows to expedite work in Barak valley

Guwahati, April 10: The BJP today promised to expedite work on infrastructure projects in the Barak valley that are hanging fire for long.

Two days ahead of elections in the two Barak valley constituencies, the party said if voted to power, it would ensure that the work on the projects, particularly those aimed at improving connectivity, was carried out on a war footing.

The campaign for Karimganj and Silchar, the two constituencies in Barak valley, ended this evening.

Addressing reporters here this afternoon, Assam BJP spokesman Jadab Doley said even 67 years after Independence, Barak valley was lagging behind in terms of road and rail communication, which was having an adverse effect on the economic development of 40 lakh-odd people of the region.

He said the people of Barak valley were suffering as many key projects aimed at improving connectivity are progressing at a snail’s pace.

“For instance, work on the Lumding-Silchar gauge conversion project of the railways, which was announced by then Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda in 1996, has not been completed even after 17 years,” he said.

“Similar is the fate of the East-West corridor project connecting Silchar in Barak valley with Porbandar in Gujarat, which was initiated in 2002 during the tenure of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government,” he said.

Doley said during the past 10 years, only 60 per cent work on the stretch of the East-West corridor between Nagaon and Silchar was completed.

“In a 31km stretch between Balacheura and Harangajao, even the preliminary work has not started yet,” he said.

“If the BJP comes to power, maximum emphasis will be laid on expediting the work and complete these projects as early as possible since economic development of the Barak valley will not possible without improving connectivity,” the BJP spokesman said.

He also pointed that the power scenario in Barak valley was equally dismal, which had become a hurdle in way of industrialisation of the region.

“Of the total requirement of 600MW power, only half is available at this moment and without sufficient power industrial development cannot take place. Even the Cachar Sugar Mill at Anipur has closed down and the paper mill at Panchgram is in its death throes,” Doley said.

He said some of the other issues which the BJP would give top priority were revival of ailing tea gardens in Barak valley, ensure payment of minimum wages to the tea garden workers, setting up a cultural complex in Barak valley on the lines of Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra and development of border trade centre at Suterkandi.