Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said rapid development of Assam and northeast region are integral part of self-reliant India and highlighted that the region is widening the country’s connection with the eastern Asian countries under the ‘Act East’ Policy.

He reached Assam earlier in the day to distribute land pattas/allotment certificates to indigenous people in Sivasagar.

Addressing a public meeting in Assam’s Sivasagar, he said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has always kept the preservation of the Assamese culture in its top priority list and implemented policies for protection of the Assamese language and promotion of its literature.

“The fast-paced development of Assam is very important to us. The way to ‘Atmanirbhar Assam’ is through ‘Atmavishwaas’ (self-confidence) among the people here. 40 per cent of the state’s population is taking benefit of ‘Ayushmaan Bharat’ scheme of the Central government,” PM Modi said.

“Rapid development of Assam and Northeast India is integral to AatmaNirbhar Bharat. The road to an AatmaNirbhar Assam is through the confidence of Assamese people. Assam has seen unprecedented developmental work in the last few years,” he added.

PM Modi further said: “In the last six years, Assam and Northeast are witnessing unprecedented development in terms of connectivity and other infrastructure. Today, Assam and Northeast are widening our connection with the Eastern Asian countries under the ‘Act East’ Policy. Assam is developing as a major part of AatmaNirbhar Bharat with better infrastructure.”

The Prime Minister said a large part of Assam has now returned to the path of peace and development with the historic Bodo Agreement.

“The agreement was followed by the first elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council and representatives were elected. Now the Bodo Territorial Council will establish new paradigms of development and trust,” he added.

PM Modi said over Rs 40,000 crores have been invested over the years on oil and gas-related infrastructure in Assam. Gas connectivity of North East and East India is going to be strengthened by the Guwahati-Barauni gas pipeline, he added.

He also lauded the Assam government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I am sure they will take the vaccination programme ahead with the same enthusiasm,” he added.

PM Modi also distributed land pattas/allotment certificates to indigenous people in Sivasagar, under the state government programme to one lakh beneficiaries.

“Today, the government of Assam has solved a major concern of your life. More than 1 lakh native families will now get the right to own land,” he said.

The Prime Minister said special emphasis is being given to secure the rights of indigenous people related to land along with preserving their language and culture.

“When we formed the government in Assam, there were 6 lakh indigenous families who did not have their land papers. During the previous government, it was not a matter of concern for them. But Sarbananda Sonowal-led government worked seriously to make this concern go away.”

“Special emphasis is being given on securing rights of indigenous people related to land along with preserving their language and culture. The new land policy unveiled in 2019 shows the commitment of this government. More than 2.25 lakh native families have given land pattas. Now more than 1 lakh families will add to it,” he said.

PM Modi said nearly 1.75 crore Jan Dhan accounts in Assam have been opened for the poor, which helped the government to provide assistance during COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today, nearly 40 per cent population of Assam has benefitted from Ayushman Bharat. 1.5 lakh people have received free treatment already. 35 lakh women have Ujjwala gas connections, with 4 lakh families in this belonging to SC/ST groups,” he added.

The Prime Minister said less than 50 per cent of households in Assam had access to electricity five years ago and today it has now gone up to nearly 100 per cent.

In the last 1.5 years, water connections have been provided to more than 2.5 lakh households in Assam under the Jal Jeevan Mission, he informed.

“The Centre-State double engine government is working to supply running water to all the households of the state,” he said.

The prime minister pointed out that the government is taking necessary steps to include Sivasagar as one of the five most iconic archaeological sites in India.

PM Modi also remembered Netaji Subash Chandra Bose on his 125th birth anniversary today.

“The entire country is celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, today. The country has decided to celebrate this day as ‘Prakram Diwas’. His life gives us inspiration even today,” he added. (ANI)