PM unveils key road, power projects in N-E

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 Dec 2017 10:18:07


Dec 16,


PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated crucial connectivity and power projects in Mizoram and Meghalaya to accelerate development in the north-eastern States, a focus area of his Government’s Act East Policy.Modi was in the two States during his day-long visit to the north-east on Saturday. In Mizoram, he dedicated the 60-MW Tuirial hydropower power project, which makes it the third power-surplus State in the north-east, after Sikkim and Tripura. The project is expected to produce “251 million units” of electricity annually. Announced in 1998 by then Atal Behari Vajpayee Government, it was the first major central government project to be successfully commissioned in Mizoram.

Modi said the dam for the project could also be used for improving connectivity in remote villages, fisheries, eco- tourism and as a source of potable water in the region. In Meghalaya, Modi announced Rs 90,000 crore for improving roads and National Highways in the north-east over the next two-three years to improve connectivity. He dedicated to the nation a 271-km two-lane National Highway connecting Tura in western Meghalaya to the state capital Shillong.Addressing a public meeting in Mizoram’s capital Aizawl, Modi said: “Today, we celebrate a significant milestone in the history of Mizoram with the completion and dedication of the 60-MW Tuirial hydropower project.”He said the Act East Policy of his Government would soon make Mizoram the gateway to the Southeast Asian countries, which include Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.

The 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) include some of the world’s fastest-growing economies like the Philippines and Vietnam, with growth rates of over 6 per cent. By 2020, the region is likely to have the world’s fifth largest economy, according to the World Economic Forum.Modi said the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, connecting Aizawl with the deepwater Sittwe Port in Myanmar, would provide great benefits to north-eastern states.He said with the allocation of Rs 10,000 crore for power sector, a state-of-the-art transmission system would be in place soon in the north-east.

The development of the Rih-Tiddim road and the establishment of numerous rural “haat” (markets) along the Mizoram-Myanmar border would increase trade volume, Modi said.High literacy rate, presence of a large number of English-speaking people and good hospitality could transform Mizoram into a model tourist destination, Modi said, adding the Centre was committed to linking all the state capitals in the north-east through a rail network.

Talking of infrastructure programmes, he said the Centre has launched the North East Special Infrastructure Scheme (NESIS) to fill in the gaps. “The new scheme has been designed after due consultations with the State Governments. However, to ensure continuity, all the ongoing projects under the Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) will be given funds for completion by March, 2022,” he said, adding the Centre would provide Rs 5,300 crore to the north-eastern states under the scheme over three years.