Guwahati: Assam Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi said that India cannot develop without the development of the Northeast and without a resurgent relation between the region and ASEAN countries.
Interacting with the students of St Joseph College, Jakhama in Kohima on Wednesday on the topic “Natural resources, skill manpower and development of Northeast”, Mukhi said, “Development of the Northeast has to be viewed not just from a domestic perspective – but also in the context of the neighbourhood of India. The development of the Northeast is tied with the development of India’s neighbours – countries of ASEAN. Friendly partner countries from other regions are essential for our NE vision”.
The Governor also said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given unprecedented importance for the development of the Northeast. Acknowledging the vast potential of the region, he has termed NE as the ‘New Engine’ for the country’s growth and has enunciated Act East Policy to stimulate the region’s development”.
Mukhi also said that the Northeast shares land borders with Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan. “Many of ASEAN capitals are within 2,000 kilometre flying distance from Guwahati. Already flight services have taken off connecting Guwahati with Thimphu, Singapore and Dhaka. There is a motorable road link, the ASEAN trilateral highway connecting North East and ASEAN countries. Government of India is working to improve this land route,” the Governor added.
“In the last few years, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura have been brought under the railway map. Road building in the region is busier than it has ever been. Border roads, national highways and State roads are all being built or improved. Incorporated in July 2014, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation is working with a special focus on the Northeast. The creation of infrastructure in smaller cities and airports under UDAN, along with more and more flights, is making the skies of the Northeast buzz with traffic, the Governor said. Moreover, to augment air services in Nagaland, three new routes were taken up. Dimapur will be connected with Guwahati, Imphal and Dibrugarh, the Governor added. He also stated that for a revamped rail connectivity, in the Union Budget 2019-20, a sum of Rs 500 crore has been allocated connecting Dimapur with Kohima.
The Governor also emphasised that though Nagaland is rich in natural resources, its real wealth lies in its young demographic profile. The respective governments are trying in optimising its strengths and opportunities; its agricultural base and employment of the youth. (PIB)