Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday asked the Border Security Force (BSF) to make use of modern technology like laser walls to ensure sealing of India-Bangladesh border in Assam on a war footing so as to prevent illegal migrantion from the neighbouring country.
Chairing a high level meeting with the top brass of the BSF led by its Director General K.K. Sharma, the chief minister asked the border sentinels to facilitate erection of fencing expeditiously for a safe and foolproof border with the neighbouring country.
He suggested the BSF to make use of ‘smart technological solutions’ like laser walls and surveillance gadgets to keep security at the frontiers intact all the times. ‘Erection of fencing along the border including ‘riverine’ areas has to be dealt with resolutely, if we want to make our borders safe’, Sonowal said.
Referring to BSF’s observation that sealing of the 42-km stretch of border in Dhubri sector in western Assam ‘is challenging’, Sonowal assured all help from the state government including technological solutions to seal border and keep the state free from infiltration.
Meanwhile, the CM on Saturday reviewed the security scenario of the state in a meeting with the General Officer Commanding 4 Corps, Lieutenant General Debraj Anbu who called on Sonowal for the first time after becoming the chief minister. Lieutenant General Anbu apprised Sonowal that security scenario in Assam has improved remarkably and the situation ‘is well under control’.
Sealing of the Indi-Bangladesh border to stop infiltration from Bangladesh, establishment of total peace and security were what the BJP mainly promised the people of Assam before the recently held Assembly polls that the party-led alliance won.
Guwahati: In an attempt to bring onus of protecting the precious one-horned rhinoceros of Kaziranga National Park directly to the state’s chief wildlife warden, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has directed the Environment ad Forest department to set up a permanent office of the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest at Kaziranga.
Environment and forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma said effective steps would be initiated to stop rhino poaching at Kaziranga National Park.
Brahma said that she would personally meet the people living on the fringes of the national park to create awareness on protecting the rhinos.
Sonowal also asked the Environment and Forest Department to prepare an action plan for generation of revenue to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore out of its own resources during the current financial year without causing any harm to the ecology.
He suggested online selling of the huge volume of seized timber lying at different forest beat offices.
Asserting ‘human beings survive only when trees exist’, Sonowal expressed concern over the fast depletion of the forest cover. “Awareness has to be created for preservation of state’s bio-diversity. Towards this end, the department must involve students living in 26,000 villages across the state in the conservation campaign to make it a success,” the CM said.
He instructed the Forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma to take slew of measures to restore denuded reserved forest areas by planting trees and create water bodies on the fringes to prevent illegal encroachment. Sonowal asked the department to submit the list of encroached forest land in the state.
He asked the department to formulate a scheme for plantation of one crore saplings. Sonowal also directed the department to make an in-depth study of the plant species that existed 300 years ago.
The CM suggested the department to examine the quality of sand which is considered a forest resource, ensure its proper utilisation in different sectors.
Sonowal said sand could be a money spinner for the department and given the boom in the construction sector there was a huge demand for forest resources. “The department has to work with a firm resolve to bring to an end all illegal business relating to forest resources,” he said.
Sonowal said the utilisation of the forest resources especially sand of Brahmaputra River by the Central and State Governments as well as the private sector in the construction sector would not only lead to revenue mobilisation but also increase volume of water flowing through tributaries of Brahmaputra river. He said the Central government was keen to making use of the sand of Brahmaputra river.
The CM stressed on the need to upgrade the reserved forest areas as tourist destinations. Sonowal asked the department to make a study for rearing fish in the water bodies located in the reserved forest areas. He asked the chief secretary to prohibit the use of fishing nets with smaller holes to protect fingerlings in the water bodies located in forest areas.
Guwahati: An Asam Sahitya Sabha delegation called on Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal here and hoped under his leadership a new economic era would dawn in the state. The seven-member delegation led by the president of the state’s apex literary body, Dhrubajyoti Bora met Sonowal on Friday and apprised him of its centenary celebration programmes at Jorhat in December this year and at Sibsagar in February next year.
Sonowal in his turn assured the Sabha of his government’s support and cooperation to make its centenary celebrations a success. (PTI)
Aizawl: To provide new avenues to local entrepreneurs and create job opportunities in the North East, Union Textiles Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar inaugurated an apparel and garment making centre here on Saturday.
In Nagaland on December 1 last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a project to launch apparel and garment making centres in each of the eight states in the North Eastern Region. Under the project, one such apparel and garment making centre consisting three units of 100 industrial stitching and other garmenting machines have been sanctioned in each of the eight North Eastern states with the total cost of Rs 145.44 crore.
“The centre has been set up to give an opportunity to local entrepreneurs to convert their ideas and designs into flourishing businesses,” the minister said. “It will not only provide new avenues to the local entrepreneurs but also create additional employment opportunities for the local people,” he said.
The minister expressed hope that the apparel centre would promote entrepreneurship in the garment industry in Mizoram and open new avenues of employment for the local people. He has assured all possible support to young entrepreneurs who would be running the facility in making the units commercially viable and self-sustainable and in setting up the requisite ecosystem for apparel manufacturing in the region.
The entrepreneurs may also dovetail with other schemes of Government of India, in order to avail financial assistance to start the business, Gangwar said. The growth of garment industry in Mizoram will also provide a fillip to the traditional sectors like handlooms, handicrafts, silk and help them to convert the traditional designs into modern garments, he said.
The minister further said that the union government is committed for the development of the states in the North East, while preserving the unique cultural identity and rich heritage of each of the states. Each centre set up under the initiative is estimated to generate direct employment for about 1,200 people. Each state will have one centre with three units, each having 100 machines. (PTI)
Los Angeles: Legendary former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who had been hospitalised following respiratory problems, has passed away, a family spokesman said.
“After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74,” family spokesman Bob Gunnell said in a statement on Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.
Ali, known as Cassius Clay before he converted to Islam, began boxing training at the age of 12 years.
He won the World heavyweight championship at the age of 22 in 1964. He was stripped of his title in 1967 after he cited his religious beliefs and rufused to be conscripted in the US Army due to his opposition to the Vietnam war. He again won the title again in 1974 and 1978.
Ali had been hospitalized in Phoenix, Arizona this week due to respiratory problems, although his condition was said to be stable.
Paradise Valley Police Department in Arizona told ABC network an emergency medical call was made from Ali’s address in Phoenix on Thursday, reports Efe.
The Phoenix Fire Department also confirmed responding to a call on the same day to assist a 74-year-old man with respiratory issues.
One of the greatest boxers in the history, Ali retired in 1981 and soon found signs of sluggishness and neurological damage. He thereafter received treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
The legendary boxer had been hospitalized several times in recent years, including in early 2015 with a severe urinary infection that was initially diagnosed as pneumonia.
Ali appeared weaker with every public appearance he made, the last being on April 9 when he was seen wearing sunglasses at the annual Celebrity Fight Night gala in Phoenix to raise funds for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.
However, the sporting icon led a relatively peaceful life with his fourth wife Lonnie, who he married in 1986.
Ali’s death touches more than just the boxing world as he was one of the most recognised people in the world for his actions both in and out of the ring.His conversion to Islam, name changes and opposition to the Vietnam War polarised the country.
However, he later became a symbol of peace with his messages on freedom, peace and equality.
“A true great has left us. Muhammad Ali transformed this country and impacted the world with his spirit,” said Bob Arum, his longtime boxing promoter. (IANS)
SHILLONG: The decision of the State Governor V Shanmuganathan to send only one name (PN Syiem) to the Election Commission instead of all the 8 legislators as demanded by High Court to ascertain whether they face disqualification for holding the office of MDC may come under the scanner of High Court of Meghalaya.
In the May 31 order, the Governor said that the KHADC chief P N Syiem cannot be disqualified for holding the office in KHADC based on the opinion of Election Commission which did not find it as an office of profit under the state government.
The High Court in its order on December 15 last year, while stating that the case can await the decision of the Governor, which would be taken upon receiving the opinion of the Election Commission, however, observed that “the Election Commission of India is expected to give its opinion on the entire issue relating to all eight MLAs as referred to by the Governor”.
However, only the name of KHADC CEM was sent by the Governor to the Election Commission.
When contacted to know whether this will fall under contempt of court, a legal officer with the state government said that the government has no role in sending the names, as the matter is dealt by the office of the Governor.
The seven legislators whose names were not sent to the Election Commission are HDR. Lyngdoh, Ardent Miller Basaiawmoit, Stephanson Mukhim, Phlastingwell Pangniang, Brolding Nongsiej, Metbah Lyngdoh and Sanbor Shullai.
They were holding the post of MDCs till the dual post Bill came into effect from October 1 last year.
Doha: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived here on Saturday on a two-day visit which is focused on giving a new push to the economic ties, particularly in the hydrocarbon sector, between India and the energy-rich Qatar.
Modi will hold detailed talks with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and address the business community of Qatar, a country which is India’s largest supplier of LNG requirements, accounting for 65 per cent of the country’s total imports last financial year. (PTI)
SHILLONG: The BJP has slammed the Congress for blaming the saffron party for the failure on the part of the party to control dissidence in Congress Legislature Party.
During the Tura by poll, the Congress had targeted the BJP instead of directly taking on NPP candidate Conrad Sangma and now for the failure on the part of the Chief Minister to control the dissident activities, the blame is on BJP, the state BJP leader Shibun Lyngdoh said on Saturday.
Last week, in a letter addressed to the Congress High Command, the Chief Minster had said that the CLP is stable, but hinted the role of BJP in creating trouble affecting the stability of his government.
However, according to the State BJP president , at this juncture since the BJP does not have a single legislator in the House, the party is not all interested in toppling game.
“We are now strengthening the party at the grass root level to ensure that the party registers victory in the Assembly polls scheduled to be held in 2018”, Lyngdoh said.
To a query, the state BJP leader said that the leadership issue of the Congress is the internal matter of the party and asserted that the BJP does not have any role in this.
“Why should they blame us for their internal problems, we are busy in strengthening our party base and we are not interested in changing government in Meghalaya. The panic reaction by the Congress will only harm them”, Lyngdoh said.
SHILLONG: Even as demand for the chief minister’s resignation poured in from friendly and unfriendly quarters, Mukul Sangma is determined to defy all odds and cling on to the hot seat.
Political pundits, however, feel that this will be a blessing in disguise for non-Congress parties as the next Assembly polls are scheduled to take place in less than two- year’s time.
The Chief Minister has claimed to have the support of majority of party legislators including Ministers in the tussle for leadership, which according to political observers may drag on till the beginning of 2018 when the state will go to polls.
Though the dissidents hoped that the Chief Minister would gracefully step down paving way for a new leader to take over the chief ministership, the latter took an aggressive stand and apprised the AICC that “all is well”.
A dissident Congress legislator is of the view that the leadership issue is very much relevant in the context of humiliating defeat of the party in Tura by-poll.
However, the state BJP leadership is amused over the state of affairs within the Congress and said that the BJP is not interested in meddling with the affairs of the Congress party.
“We are looking at 2018 and people will teach Congress a lesson for the mess the party has created in the State”, the state BJP President Shibun Lyngdoh said.
A UDP leader, on the other hand, said that it would be good for his party if Mukul Sangma continues as the Chief Minister till 2018. “The anti-incumbency factor will help UDP and other non-Congress parties to come back to power,” the UDP leader said.
As far as Congress is concerned, the legislators would not like to go the Assam way (vertical split).
The MPCC president DD Lapang , whom the dissidents have projected as the next leader, said that party would solve the crisis amicably and asserted that there was no question of splitting the party .
In his usual style, Lapang said that though there were differences in the family, “it does not mean that the house should be torched”.
However, the non-Congress parties feel this double standard of some Congress leaders — projecting themselves to be true Congressmen and at the same time adding fuel to dissident activities— will benefit them as the wave of anger against Congress is brewing in the State for its overall failure in governance.
Los Angeles, June 04 (IANS): Legendary former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali, who had been hospitalised following respiratory problems, has passed away, a family spokesman said.
"After a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74," family spokesman Bob Gunnell said in a statement on Friday.