Guwahati: A life-size bronze statue of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was unveiled at Silchar of Barak valley in Assam yesterday on the occasion of his birthday. Union road transport, highways and MSMEs minister Nitin Gadkari and State chief minister Sarbanand Sonowal graced the occasion to honur one of the highest political stalwarts of Bharat.
Gadkari also laid the foundation stone for 27 highway projects in the State which is expected to improve connectivity at the borders, enhance employment opportunities, save time & fuel, encourage tourism & infra development, and finally the development would result in providing connectivity for agricultural produce up to larger markets. Mentioning about the Dhubri-Phoolbari bridge over the mighty Brahmaputra river, Gadkari informed that the construction will begin within a few weeks. The 19 km bridge, to be constructed with the budget of Rs 4,497 crore, is estimated to reduce the distance between concerned places of Assam and Meghalaya by over 200 km. Later Gadkari and Sonowal attended the 18th convocation of Assam University at Silchar where hundreds of students were ceremonially handed over certificates of various degrees for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020. Addressing the convocation, Gadkari termed knowledge as power and urged the graduating students to transform that power into worthy resources.
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi sets to create an Atma Nirbhar Bharat with a five trillion-dollar economy, all meritorious students should utilise their knowledge to realize the vision, added the senior BJP leader. Stating that MSME sector constitutes 30 % of the GDP, Gadkari urged the graduates to opt for entrepreneurship to create jobs and make they self-sufficient. He also advocated for innovation to give an impetus to socio-economic development and upliftment of the downtrodden by the skilled young forces. Speaking at the program, Sonowal threw light on the doors of opportunities opened by the implementation of Act East Policy for Assam and other north-eastern States urging the graduating students to work hard for taking advantage of those opportunities with an aim to develop the State and the country as a whole.
He dwelt on the importance of becoming best possible human resources to capture eight million population market of ASEAN and BBN countries while invoking PM Modi’s thrust to harness the youth power of the country. Sonowal also extended his greetings to the people on the occasion of Christmas that synchronizes with former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birth anniversary.
Terming Assam University as a positive outcome of Assam Accord, signed after six years long Assam Movement against the influx of illegal migrants from neighboring countries, Sonowal paid rich tributes to the martyrs in presence of Union minister Rameswar Teli, State minister Parimal Suklabaidya, Parliamentarian Rajdweep Roy, Assam University vice-chancellor Dilip Chandra Nath with several other dignitaries.