- NET Web Desk
Prime Minister – Narendra Modi outlined the transformative efforts initiated during the last 8 years for holistic development of Northeastern regions; with an emphasis on infrastructure creation, ensuring better healthcare facilities, education and popularizing the diverse cultures from different states of the region.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led administration has laid immense stress upon developing the region and connecting it with the rest of the nation.
According to official statement, regarding air connectivity, 28 projects have been completed between 2016-17 to 2021-22 with 15 ongoing projects likely to be completed by March 2023. The region currently have 2 international airports – one at Guwahati and the other at Imphal. A new terminal building at Agartala Airport has been built as an integrated terminal to meet future international flight requirements.
The UDAN scheme has resulted in the development of 15 operational airports, compared to only 9 in 2014. Under the UDAN initiative, about 18 airstrips, heliports/helipads, and water aerodromes have been allocated and are developed across the region. These massive aviation infrastructure projects will boost tourism, investments and employment.
The Krishi Udaan plan was introduced in August 2020 on international and national routes to help cultivators in transporting agricultural products. More than 1.92 lakh metric tonnes of perishable commodities were transported nationally and abroad, with farm products from the Northeast accounting for a larger portion.
In the domain of rail connectivity, massive developments have taken place in the past few years. These includes – the first goods train reached Rani Gaidinliu Railway Station at Manipur’s Tamenglong.
Meanwhile, the long-standing demand of the people of Manipur, Tripura and South Assam was fulfilled by inauguration of special trains Jan Shatabdi connecting Agartala-Jiribam-Agartala. Entire rail network of the Northeastern states was converted into a broad gauge network.
Critical roads like the 110 kms of NH 44 connecting Jowai along Meghalaya-Assam border stands complete. In the last five years, a total of 237 projects have been undertaken, with approximately 3,099 km of road connectivity being developed across various parts of the Northeast.
Tapping into the improving connectivity, the government launched India’s first Multi Modal Logistics Park at Assam’s Jogighopa to capitalise on improved connectivity. With the commencement of this park, the region will become a hub for intermodal freight-handling facilities, equipped with cutting-edge machinery that will serve as a model for the rest of the country.
The government also intends to develop the Sittwe Port and the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project; thereby transforming the region into economic gateway to Southeast Asia. Similarly, the construction of the India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway will help the Northeast, paving way for shared prosperity.
Waterways are evolving into growth engines. River Barak, which connects Silchar, Karimganj, and Badarpur in Assam’s Cachar valley with Haldia and Kolkata ports via the Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Route, was designated as National Waterway-16 (NW-16) in 2016.
The Ro-Pax operation between Neamati and Majuli reduced the distance between two cities from 420 kilometres to only 12 kilometres, enhancing economic activity and saving time. Similarly, the introduction of Ro-Pax vessels reduced the trip distance between North and South Guwahati from roughly 40 kms to 3 kms, and the travel route between Dhubri and Hatsingimari from 220 kms to 28 kms.
The Saubhagya scheme was launched in October 2017 with the goal of providing universal household electrification. Around 26.14 lakh households have been electrified, since the launch of this scheme in Northeast.
In order to protect the Northeast region, the Dhola-Sadiya bridge, spanning 9.2 km was inaugurated by the Prime Minister in 2017.
In 2018, the Prime Minister inaugurated the nation’s longest railroad bridge (4.94 km) in Assam – Bogibeel railroad bridge. The project which commenced in 1997 has finally become a reality, after PM Modi initiated the same. The bridge will not only improve regional connectivity, but also has great strategic importance for the region’s security.
Multiple peace agreements in the Northeast have ended decades-old regional conflicts and ushered in an era of peace, progress and prosperity under the Modi Government. From promoting organic farming to enabling the NER to play a pivotal role in edible oil production, PM Modi has ensured that every effort is made to empower farmers from the Northeast.
The Modi government has extended unprecedented support for reviving traditional sectors of the economy in the Northeastern region. Its landmark decision to declare bamboo as a grass and the launch of the National Bamboo Mission gave a fresh impetus to the production of bamboo based products in the region.
Moreover, the administration has also played a crucial role in promoting the rich culture of NE. Recently, the Union Minister of Home Affairs & Cooperation – Amit Shah laid-down the foundation stone for setting-up the Rani Gaidinliu Tribal freedom fighters Museum at Luangkao village in Tamenglong District. Besides, Sivasagar in Assam have also been developed as an iconic site with an on-site museum.