Source: News Bharati English27 May 2016 19:22:24

Shillong, May 27: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a rally in Meghalaya's capital Shillong on his government's achievements in two years in power and plans for development of the North Eastern region. PM Modi also unveiled a plaque for the foundation stone of a football stadium. The stadium is being constructed at a cost of 38 crore rupees with the support of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region, will go a long way towards fulfilling this objective.

“Football is a passion here and is played in every nook and corner. We are all familiar with famous football players such as Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Aibor Khongjee, and Marlangki Suting. They have done both the country and the State proud, by representing India in International Tournaments, and their clubs in the Indian Super League”, PM Modi said.

In his address, PM Modi urged the people of Meghalaya to take advantage of Under-17 FIFA World Cup that will be held in India in 2017 and ensure the spread and development of this sport not only in the North Eastern Region, but also in other parts of the country.  “Meghalaya has a large number of football clubs and associations. Perhaps, you can organize competitive local tournaments and lead the way for other parts of the country, to build a series of major events leading to the Under-17 World Cup”, he said.

In November, 2014, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh were brought on the rail map of India. Recently, Agartala in Tripura has been connected with a broad gauge railway line. Today is indeed a red letter day in the history of the North-East. Broad Gauge Passenger Trains will now connect the States of Manipur and Mizoram. Today, Kamakhya in Guwahati has been directly connected with Vaishno Devi in Katra, near Jammu.  “We are opening up both Road and Rail routes to our neighbouring countries. This will give a boost to the economic development of the region”, PM Modi said.

The Union Government has incorporated a special Corporation named ‘National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation’ in July 2014, for the development of Highways in the North Eastern region. This Corporation is constructing three new bridges on Brahmaputra River. It is implementing 34 road projects in the North Eastern Region to construct around 1,000 kilometers of roads at a total cost of over Ten Thousand Crore Rupees. The North East Road Sector Development Scheme has been started, with an aim to connect every district in the region with a National Highway.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi visited the exhibition of stalls set up by Self-Help Groups comprising women from all eight North Eastern States and said that the artefacts and products displayed in this exhibition are indeed impressive.  “The promotion of Self Help Groups has got a boost from the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana. A large number of Self Help Groups are also benefiting through credit linkages by North Eastern Development Financial Institution with the component of interest subsidy being provided by Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region”, he said.

In his address, PM Modi said that the Government is committed to the development of Self Help Groups, particularly Women Self Help Groups. Keeping this in mind, in December 2015, the Union Cabinet approved a Special Package Fund for the North Eastern States. The objective is to accelerate the implementation of the National Rural Livelihood Mission, so as to cover two-thirds of all rural households in North Eastern States by 2023-24.

Lauding ISRO, PM Modi said, “We all know Cherrapunji, for being the place that receives the highest rainfall in the World. Today, another feather has been added to its cap. The Doppler Weather Radar at Cherrapunji has been dedicated to the Nation. I congratulate the Indian Space Research Organization; Bharat Electronics Ltd.; and the Indian Meteorological Department for setting up this Radar in Cherrapunji. The North East, a land of beauty and adventure, has been hit by several natural calamities in the recent past, on account of heavy rain and landslides”. He stated that this Weather Radar System will enable better weather forecasts, especially for the North Eastern region. This should help in minimizing the threat posed by extreme weather conditions.

The Centre has earmarked Rs 30,000 crore for the Northeastern region in the current budget and most of this would go for development of rail, road, waterways and telecom connectivity in the region, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Shillong on Friday.

Earlier, PM Modi also said the Northeastern region could become the “organic basket” for the country. “Other states can take a lead from Sikkim and the NEC can also play an important role in the development of organic farming in the region. Organic products are going to be increasingly used widely and if the NEC can assist the states in the region to take a lead in this area, it will contribute immensely to the income of the people and the region,” he said. Sikkim has already declared itself as an organic state.

PM Modi stated that his Government has been proactively following the ‘Act East Policy’. “I consider the North Eastern Region as the Gateway to South-East Asia. As part of this policy, it is our mission to upgrade the infrastructure in Road, Rail, Telecom, Power and Waterways in the region. And today, as part of that mission, I have flagged off three new trains”, PM Modi asserted.

 “We are committed to connect all North Eastern States with the country’s railway network. Since the formation of the NDA Government at the Centre, we have spent more than Ten Thousand Crore Rupees for development of the railway network in the North East. The Railway Ministry plans to spend more than Five Thousand Crore Rupees during the current year for the same”, he added.

“It is our mission to upgrade the infrastructure in road, rail, power and telecom. We are committed to connect all NE states with country's railway network. We are opening road and rail to neighbouring countries. This will boost economy of the region”, PM Modi added.