Jorhat: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that his government has always been alive to the special needs of Assam and the North East region.
``The development of North East has always been the priority of the government and we have initiated several projects for this regard``, the Prime Minister said at the foundation laying ceremony of the National Institute of Design here.
Highlighting the various initiatives taken by his government, the Prime Minister pointed out that the measures taken for the protection of flood and erosion prone Majuli
Island and Rohmoria area were at an advanced state of completion.
The Bongaigaon Thermal Power Station (BTPS) was likely to be commissioned shortly and the Assam Gas Cracker Project was another significant project which the government wanted to complete at the earliest, he said.
``We have also introduced several projects for improving connectivity, including the gauge conversion, construction of Dholla-Sadiya and Numali-Gohpur bridges, four-laning of NH-37 on the Nagaon-Jorhat-Dibrugarh stretch``, he added.
The Prime Minister expressed happiness at the commissioning of Ledo Open Cast Mining while the project for the preservation of the cultural heritage of Natun
Kamlabari Sattra in Majuli has been also taken up.
Referring to the development of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), Dr Singh said an additional Rs 250 crore project was currently under implementation.
``Some important projects in BTC areas of Kokrajhar and Bongaigaon districts along with Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills districts was also being taken up under the
Social and Infrastructure Fund``, he said.
The Prime Minister said all these measures would be able to address the development deficit of Assam to some extent.
He said that he had a special bond with Assam as ``I represent it in Parliament and to me coming here is like coming home`` expressing happiness that the NID was being set up in the state.
``The NID has evolved as a touchstone of good design education in India while pursuing its efforts for spreading knowledge of traditional Indian designs across the world``, the PM said.
The design institute in Jorhat could leverage the traditional craftsmanship of the region and help in giving a new life to the traditional arts by converting creative ideas into tangible products and services for society at large, he said.
``Specially to the North East, better industrial design can contribute to the development of micro, small and medium enterprises by enhancing product utility and by helping in translating new ideas into new products``, he said.
The promotion of the textile sector in the region as well as the initiative under the National Bamboo Mission should also get support from this institute, the Prime