Assam Cabinet approves river basin management project, eases agro-forestry rules


Guwahati: The Assam Cabinet on Sunday approved the River Basin Management Project and decided to ease agro-forestry rules and streamline recruitment to state government departments.

Addressing a press conference after chairing the Cabinet meet, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said phase I of World Bank-aided Assam Integrated River Basin Management Project has been approved at the meeting.

Work on integrated water management and flood/river erosion-related works will be taken up at Burhidehing and Beki river basins worth US dollar 83 million in phase I, he said.

An amount of Rs 1,016 crore to support the design and construction of Assam Skill University campus at Mangaldai was also approved by the Cabinet, Sarma added.

“In a major decision in the agro-forestry sector, it will no longer be necessary to take permission from the forest department for cutting trees of several species in non-forested areas, like private land or agricultural fields,” Sarma said.

This decision will give a fillip to the plywood industry in the state, he said adding that a state agro-forestry commission will also be set up soon.

The chief minister also said the Cabinet cleared the proposal for Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) to conduct a combined examination for 48 additional Group A and B gazetted posts under the state government.

The APSC was earlier holding a combining examination for 28 posts.

CM Sarma said, “The candidates will get posting as per their rank in the merit list. The single exam will save them the hassles of appearing for multiple exams.” Rules for the recruitment commission for Grade 3 and 4 posts of the state government were also approved by the Cabinet, he added.

An amount of Rs 158.4 crore for Disaster Risk Mitigation, including setting up 100 climate resilient villages and approximately 50 multipurpose flood shelters, was sanctioned, the chief minister said on Twitter later.

To improve administrative efficiency and ensure seamless functioning in view of creation of new districts, the Water Resources department will be restructured, he said.

For implementing ‘Free Drugs and Consumables’ scheme for 2021-22, Rs 154 crore was approved for the National Health Mission, Assam, to ensure free availability of essential drugs to hospitals in tea garden areas, Sarma said in the Tweet.