The Centre was asked by Government of India (Planning Commission) to work with two other prominent institutions to develop the Assam Development Report (2002), which encapsulates a vision for the state, with a specific timeframe for change. The report, which was released by the then Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in December 2002, is the first of its kind to be commissioned by Government of India in the North East and to be developed by non-government groups. C-NES’ work was in the area of ‘Transport and Connectivity on the Brahmaputra’.
The study enables the state and central government to pursue policies which will empower local communities living by the Brahmaputra river, one of the most powerful and least documented rivers in the world.
The proposals which have been accepted by the Centre and the state government, include strategies to improve the public’s access to development, markets and roads through a series of steps on the following:
- help develop safer, faster and larger river vessels which are daily used by tens of thousands of people;
- revive haats and ghats which are crucial as local markets and for travel;
- provide better road connections between nearby towns and the ghats;
- provide night shelters and communication facilities at the ghats.