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Assam cabinet approves simplification of flood damage assessment

In a major administrative reform, the Assam Cabinet on Tuesday decided to approve the simplification of flood damage assessment and repairing of infrastructure.

Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, chairing a meeting of the council of ministers here, decided to authorize the Deputy Commissioners to take necessary action regarding flood assessment and repairing of infrastructure within the time frame of April 1-October 31.

The Cabinet also recommended holding the first Budget Session of the present Assembly from July 12, minister Pijush Hazarika told reporters after the meeting.

The Cabinet also decided to hand over 35 bighas of additional land to the management committee for the smooth implementation of Batadrava Than Cultural and Tourism Project at the birthplace of Vaishnava saint Srimanta Sankardeva.

Minister for Cultural Affairs Bimal Bora will visit and review the status of the project every month, Hazarika said.

With a view to utilize 77,000 bighas of government land freed from encroachers at Gorukhuti, Sipajhar in Darrang for agricultural purposes, a committee headed by MLA Padma Hazarika was formed.

MP Dilip Saikia, MLAs Mrinal Saikia and Paramananda Rajbangshi will be the other members of the committee, while Secretary and Director Agriculture Vinod Seshan will act as member secretary.

In order to eliminate overloading by coal trucks passing through Assam, the Cabinet decided to check the weights of trucks at Digharkhal and Srirampur inter-state border gates.

This practice will continue on a pilot basis till March 31 next year and the chief minister, finance minister and transport minister will monitor the whole process, Hazarika said.

The Cabinet also decided to institute Asom Ratna Award to be presented every year to one person who has made a significant contribution to society and it will carry a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh.

It was also decided to institute Asom Bibhushan Award to be presented to three persons, Assam Bhushan to five persons and Asom Shree to 10 persons every year and the awards will carry cash rewards of Rs 3 lakh, Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh, respectively, with other benefits like free medical treatment for critical illness, free stay at Assam Bhawans and free travel in state transport buses, among others.

The cabinet also decided that from this year, a literary pension would be conferred in the name of eminent litterateur Homen Borgohain, who passed away recently, on his birthday on December 7.

The sports pension would be conferred in the name of Arjun Bhogeswar Barua on his birthday on September 3 while the artiste award will be given on January 17 and the names of the award winners will be announced seven days prior to the presentation ceremony.

The cabinet also decided that in all government offices, photographs of the President, the Prime Minister and the first Chief Minister of Assam, Gopinath Bordoloi, have to be displayed. PTI

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