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Assam: Bad weather cancels PM's chopper trip

K Anurag in Guwahati | August 25, 2008 17:14 IST

Inclement weather forced cancellation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] public meeting at Nagaon in Central Assam on Monday afternoon much to the dismay of organizers and people gathered at the venue at Nehrubali field.

The chopper carrying Dr Singh from Jorhat, where he attended the foundation laying ceremony of Assam's fourth medical college and hospital, had to return to Jorhat after it failed to land at Nagaon because of bad weather.

The prime minister then proceeded to Guwahati from Jorhat by his special aircraft from Rowriah airport in Jorhat.

Meanwhile, Dr Singh on Monday gave assurance to 24 religious and cultural heads (satradhikars) of Vaishnavite monasteries from Majuli, the largest inhabited river island in the world, to continue the campaign for acquiring world heritage tag for the endangered river island located in the bosom of mighty Brahmaputra River in Jorhat district of Upper Assam.

Giving audition to a delegation of vaishnavite religious heads on the sideline of his programme in Jorhat, Dr Singh said the government of India would not allow any slackness in the effort to put Majuli among world heritage sites and promised to take all possible protective measures for protection of Majuli that is facing severe erosion threat from Brahmaputra River.

The pledged to ask for a departmental report from Brahmaputra Board about the measures it had so far taken for geographical protection of endangered Majuli River Island in response to dissatisfaction expressed by religious leaders about the works so far done to safeguard the river island from erosion.

The religious leaders submitted a three-point charter of demands to the prime minister, highlighting the urgent need for intervention from Centre for geographical and cultural protection of Majuli Island.

They also told Dr Singh that mega hydro-electricity dams coming up in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh were likely to have catastrophic affect of Majuli Island that is now reeling under severe flood.

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