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Photo: Northeast Now

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday said that the India-Bangladesh international border sealing is expected to be completed by December 2018.

Sonowal was addressing the media in the city on the occasion of the second anniversary of the Bharatiya Janata Party led government in the State.

Sonowal further said that smart fencing on land border and technical barriers are being done along the riverine stretch of the Indo-Bangla border.

Sonowal also announced six new bridges over the Brahmaputra River including one connecting Dhubri with Phulbari.

It will be the longest bridge over the Brahmaputra River stretching up to 18 km.

Sonowal also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the initiative taken in this regard.

Speaking about the government policy of zero tolerance against corruption Sonowal said that as many as 74 government officials were arrested including two serving IAS officers and one retired IAS officer.

“Our policy of zero tolerance to corruption over the last two years has restored public faith on the government. Arrest of senior officials including serving IAS officers not only validate our stand but has turned the state machinery into an efficient delivery system,” he said.

“In the APSC scam, besides the chairman and two members, 19 ACS officers, seven APS officers, 11 allied service officers and four other employees have been arrested so far,” Sonowal added.

He also said that the CID has also registered seven corruption related cases and in the process arrested 15 government officials and public servants.

“This has sent a strong message that this government is not going to tolerate corruption,” the Chief Minister said.

“We have delivered on our promise of good governance through a transparent system. Abolishing illegal check gates, oral interviews in Grade III & IV and introduction of digital payments in government transactions has led to huge increase in revenue collection and expenditure,” he further said.

Sonowal went on to state that during the last two years, this Government has given appointment to about 45,000 youths in both regular and contractual posts through a ‘transparent process and not a single allegation of corruption has been raised against those appointments’.

Sonowal also thanked the media for keeping a constant watch on the works of the government and helping ‘us fight against corruption’.

Every media report on corruption has been promptly inquired into and action taken accordingly, he also said.

Regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, Sonowal said, “We have not played ‘hide and seek’ on the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. We have also not kept the people of the State in darkness. We are nothing without the public. The Government is only for the people. The people should not lose trust in the Government. We are in the power for the people. This Government is committed to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the people.”

He further said, “We will sit with the organisations and political parties to discuss the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.”

Sonowal also stated that the Central Government has given stress on development in the Northeast through its Act East Policy. “Prime Minister Modi has brightened up Assam which was kept in darkness by the Congress,” said Sonowal.

Stating that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) update process is going on to have a foreigners-free Assam, the CM said, “The first draft NRC has already been published. The publication of the final NRC will be a great success for us. So, I appeal to all to extend cooperation in the NRC update process till June 30.”

During the press briefing, Sonowal also mentioned about the Government’s efforts to stop rhino killing, land encroachments, etc. in the State. Besides, he also spoke about various schemes being taken by the coalition Government in health and education sectors.

A publication on the achievements of the government during the last two years was also released on the occasion.

Sonowal was flanked by Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) president Atul Bora and Bodoland People’s Front president and BTC chief Hagrama Mohilary during his address to the media.

Notably, both the AGP and BPF are alliance partners in the government.

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