Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated various developmental projects in north-eastern states of Mizoram and Meghalaya, concerning the region’s overall growth in various sectors including rail, road, tourism and improvement in power transmission.
The North-east has topped the agenda of development for the current central government as it is considered as one of the important regions where strategic growth of New Delhi is based.
The region is acknowledged as the eastern gateway of India’s ‘Look East Policy’.
During his visit to the hilly states, Prime Minister Modi visited capital Aizawl in Mizoram and inaugurated the Tuirial Hydro Power Project in the state that will produce 251 million units of electrical energy every year and boost the socio-economic development of the state.
It is the first ever central project that has been successfully commissioned in the state of Mizoram.
After inaugurating the long awaited project, he said, “With the commissioning of the project, Mizoram becomes the third power surplus state in the northeast after Sikkim and Tripura.”
Blaming the previous government, he added, “The project was first declared at Mizoram by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee way back in the year 1998, but got delayed.”
Besides generating electricity, the reservoir water is also going to open new avenues for navigation which will provide connectivity to remote villages.
People from all walks of life from the landlocked state of Mizoram gathered in number to witness the developmental strategies put forth by PM Modi for the region’s economic growth.
The prime minister also interacted with Self Help Groups of Mizoram who put up a special exhibition of various products ranging from organic to handloom and handicrafts.
From Aizawl, PM Modi arrived in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong and inaugurated the much needed 261-km long two laning of Shillong Nongstoin section of National highway 106 and Nongstoin Rongdeng section National Highway 127 B.
On the occasion he told that the road would serve as an east-west corridor for Meghalaya.
“It will boost economic activity in the state. It will also establish our direct link between the two most important towns in the state- Shillong and Tura,” he said.
The move of linking the highways will reduce the travel time by almost half to only eight hours instead the earlier 15-16 hours.
He also told the gathering that his government’s motto was ‘transformation by transportation’.
Ensuring full-fledged growth of connectivity in the region in the coming years, Prime Minister Modi enlightened the gathering about the government’s decision to invest Rs 60,000 crore under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in the north-east and Rs 30,000 crore under Bharat Mala in the next two to three years to build a network of highways and roads in the north-east region.
“The Centre will be providing Rs 5,300 crore to NE states under the scheme over the next three years. The lack of connectivity is the biggest hurdle in the part of development of the NE region. We aim for a transformation by transportation through investment in infrastructure in the region,” the prime minister informed.
“The Union Government has sanctioned over 3,800 km of NH with an investment of Rs 3,200 crore within the last three years, out of which nearly 1,200 km of road has already been constructed,” he added.
PM Modi’s visit to the north-eastern states gave momentum to BJP’s campaign ahead of the assembly elections in Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura early next year.
He also opened the new BJP Meghalaya office unit and addressed a public rally in the Polo ground, kick-starting his party’s campaign ahead of the assembly election next year.
People of the region have hopes from the prime minister as they claim that no government has ever reached out to them.
“When Shillong became the capital of Meghalaya there was no such development in the state. Even in the 11 districts, the road infrastructure was really bad. Meghalaya is a hill state and tourism is the only livelihood but if roads are not good, tourism cannot develop further,” said a local resident.
“So now the BJP has stepped in the state for the first time and PM Modi has visited for the first time. We have seen and heard that whatever PM Modi promises, he fulfills it and the consequences are seen. So people in the state are hopeful for a change,” he said.
To bring north-east in the railway map, Prime Minister Modi also reiterated that the government was executing 15 new rail line projects of 1,325 km length at the cost of Rs 4,700 crore.