World Bank to give assistance for road projects in Assam; Irom Sharmila completes twelve years of fast against the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA); Large turnout in Sikkim Panchayat polls; ASEAN-India car rally to be flagged off by Assam Chief Min
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  • (NOVEMBER 5-11)

    According to reports, the road connectivity in Assam is likely to get a major boost, with the World Bank on November 5 clearing a loan assistance of USD 320 million for Assam State Road Project (ASRP). The project is targeted for implementation over a period of six years. A loan agreement was signed between Governments of India and Assam and World Bank paving the way for release of the assistance. The project envisages enhancing the road connectivity in Assam by assisting the Public Works Road Department to improve and effectively manage its road network. 1

    In another development, reports noted that sit-in protest, candlelight demonstration and recitation competition marked the completion of 12 years of Irom Sharmila’s hunger strike against the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958 in Manipur on November 5. The ‘Iron lady of Manipur’ Sharmila (40) has been on a hunger strike since the year 2000 demanding repeal of the Act that gives the Army the right to arrest suspected militants without arrest warrants and shoot anyone suspected of being a militant. 2

    According to reports, the East district of Sikkim kept pace with the rest of the State and recorded a handsome voter participation, close to 80 pc for the panchayat polls, held on November 3. As per statistics released by the IPR Department, the zila panchayat elections attracted a 78.15 pc voter turnout, while the gram panchayat ward elections received a slightly higher participation of 81.62 per cent. 3

    Reports noted that the Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, will flag off the ASEAN-India car rally from the Sarusajai stadium on December 17, 2012. The Union Minister for Commerce and Industries, Anand Sarma, will also attend the ceremony. Senior officials of the embassies of ASEAN countries including Ambassadors of the countries like Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam and Darussalam would visit Guwahati on November 15 as a prelude to the car rally. The Ambassadors and officials of those countries will hold talks with the Chief Minister. 4

    In other developments, according to reports, the Mizoram Boundary Committee headed by former minister C Chawngkunga has decided to submit an interim report on the findings on the Indo-Bangladesh border fencing in the Mizoram sector to the Government. 5