Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday laid the foundation stone for a series of developmental schemes at Garukhuti in Darrang district, where the state government is executing an ambitious multipurpose agriculture project.
Two persons were killed and 20 others injured in clashes between security forces and alleged encroachers at Garukhuti during an eviction drive in September.
The chief minister also exhorted the youth of the state to engage in agricultural activities so that the land of the indigenous people is not encroached by illegal settlers, according to an official release.
Addressing a programme at Garukhuti, Sarma said Assam must aspire to compete with states like Gujarat and Punjab in dairy and agriculture respectively.
Assamese people have always been resilient against outside aggressors and the time has come to prove that again by taking control of the state’s farming lands, he said.
He called on the youths to dedicate themselves to agricultural fields as fertile land of the state was being “occupied by illegal infiltrators who saw opportunities due to the local peoples’ disinterest for hard work”.
Referring to the recent lynching of a youth in Jorhat, Sarma said moral degradation has taken place among a section of the youths and, therefore, they must be motivated to engage in productive work as able human resources.
The chief minister said all sections of the society must support the project to make it one of the best in the country.
He said, We import egg, fish, chicken, pork from outside and to prevent this, Assam must become self reliant for its food products to become a developed state.
Under the Garukhuti Multipurpose Agriculture Project, the Assam government has allocated Rs 9.60 crore in the current budget to implement modern farming techniques and scientific animal rearing practices across 77,420 bighas of land in Sipajhar area.
An eviction drive was carried out to free land of the project from alleged encroachers in September. Though the eviction passed off peacefully on the first day, it was conducted amid stiff resistance by the local people on the second instance, leaving two persons dead and over 20 others, including policemen, injured in police firing to disperse a crowd.
According to different accounts, around 1,200-1,400 houses were razed to the ground on September 20 and 23 in Dhalpur I, II and III villages, leaving over 7,000 people homeless.
The chief minister laid foundation stone for Dholpur Bhagawat Namghar (Vaishnavite prayer hall) and interacted with Agro Soldier volunteers engaged in Gorukhuti Multipurpose Agriculture Project, the statement further said.
He handed over warm clothes to 616 Agro Soldiers and announced Rs 1 crore to the Namghar.
He visited agricultural fields and piggery at Dholpur and interacted with the farmers while inaugurating an erosion protection project at Moranoi at Dholpur built under MGNREGS 2021-22.
Sarma also laid foundation stone for a Weaving Training Centre at Naljhar, Garukhuti, and interacted with the women weavers at a makeshift weaving centre.
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