Source: News Bharati English27 May 2016 14:58:33

Shillong, May 27: Addressing the valedictory session of the 65th plenary meeting of the North Eastern Council in Shillong, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the government wants to bring North Eastern region on a par with other regions of the country and said that there is no reason why North East cannot be developed.  This is Modi's maiden visit to Shillong after becoming Prime Minister.

In his address, PM Modi said that in the current Budget, more than Rs.30,000 crores have been earmarked for the North East region and stated that it should be our endeavour to ensure that this money is spent well for the development of the region.

"The North East is the gateway to South East Asia and we need to take advantage of this. We are opening up both road and rail routes to our neighbouring countries. This should give a boost to the economic development of the region", PM Modi said.
The session will focus on all-round developmental plans for the Northeastern region. In various technical sessions, discussion will be made on the developmental projects related to livelihood, entrepreneurship, infrastructure, connectivity.

"The North Eastern Council was set up in 1972. Since then it has contributed to the development of the North East region. To meet the growing aspirations of the people, it is important that the North Eastern Council introspects and assesses the extent to which it has been able to achieve its objectives. Perhaps, there is a need to re-orient and upgrade the North Eastern Council", PM Modi said.

"You may like to consider developing the North Eastern Council as a state-of-the-art resource centre for the North Eastern states with the necessary resources, knowledge and skills. The resource centre may enable the states and the implementing agencies to properly plan and execute projects, promote research and innovations and provide strategic policy vision for the region", he added.

Regional planning body NEC is the nodal agency for the economic and social development of the region and comprises eight states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.  Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh on Thursday had said, "In last two years under the leadership of PM Modi, the North Eastern Region has witnessed massive development."

The Prime Minister will wind up his maiden visit to the city by addressing a gathering of youths at the Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Cultural Centre (RKMVCC) at Quinton Road on the morning of May 28. According to media sources, PM Modi will launch the Mission Football Meghalaya during his public address at Polo Grounds besides laying the foundation stone online for Ampati stadium to be built under the Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR).

PM Modi stated that the government has been focussing on the development of the North East region through its pro-active “Act East Policy”. "As part of this policy, we are focussing on reducing the isolation of the region by improving all round connectivity through road, rail, telecom, power and waterways sectors", he said.
On this occasion, there will be an Award Ceremony to winners of marathon, the cleanest city in North Eastern Region (Gangtok), cleanest state in the North East (Sikkim) and the cleanest locality in Shillong to be followed by inauguration of passenger trains by remote and Prime Minister’s Address.

Three train services will be launched online by the Prime Minister on the occasion including Jiribam (Manipur)-Silchar (Assam) daily passenger train, Bhairabi (Mizoram)- Silchar daily passenger train and  Kamakhya-Vaishno Devi Katra (Jammu and Kashmir) Express weekly train. Meghalaya Governor V. Shanmuganathan,Chief Minister Dr. Mukul Sangma, new Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal are present at the function. The Prime Minister will inaugurate an exhibition on the achievement at 3.00 p.m.

Talking about developement done by Indian Raileays in Nprth east, PM Modi said that the Government is also making a heavy investment in power transmission projects covering all the eight North Eastern states at a cost of around Rs 10,000 crore. This would ensure power to more areas. The recent commissioning of Bishwanath-Chariyali-Agra transmission line has also brought 500 MegaWatt additional capacity to the region.

"The railways have undertaken a major expansion in the region at a cost of around Rs 10,000 crore. In November 2014, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya were put up on the rail map. Agartala in Tripura has also been connected with broad gauge line. We are on the way to ensure that all the North East states come on the rail map soon", he added.

In the North East, the Indian Railways has commissioned about 900 kilometres of Broad Gauge in the last two years, leaving only about 50 kilometres Meter Gauge lines to be converted in 2016-17. In addition, a 132 kilometre part of third alternative connectivity route to North East (that is New Maynaguri – Jogighopa) has also been commissioned.

PM Modi also stated that the Government has approved North East BPO promotion scheme in the Digital India programme for creation of employment opportunities and urged the people of the region to avail facilities and get these BPOs operationalized in their respective States.