Assam Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi said that India cannot develop without the development of the Northeast.
Prof Mukhi further said that without a resurgent relation between the north-eastern region and ASEAN countries, the region cannot prosper and Act East Policy cannot succeed.
Interacting with the students of St Joseph College at Jakhama in Kohima on Wednesday on the topic – ‘Natural resources, skill manpower and development of Northeast’, Governor Prof 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 that is countries of ASEAN,” he added.
He also said that friendly partner countries from other regions are essential for ‘our Northeast vision which can contribute substantially for a comprehensive development of the Northeast, India and ASEAN as a whole’.
The Governor also said, “Since, development of the north-eastern region is very vital for the development of the entire country, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given unprecedented importance for the development of the Northeast.”
He also said, “Acknowledging the vast potential of the region, he has termed the Northeast as the new engine for the country’s growth and has enunciated Act East Policy to stimulate the region’s development.”
The north-eastern region of the country is endowed with huge untapped natural resources and is acknowledged as the treasure trove which can stimulate development of entire country in sync with the nature, he added.
Prof Mukhi said the Northeast has an amazing social and cultural ecosystem which few regions of the world can claim.
This diversity the Governor added is an inspiration for everybody.
Governor Prof Mukhi stated that the geographical location of the Northeast makes it an obvious gateway to India, linking the vast economies of the Indian subcontinent and of today’s ASEAN countries.
In this backdrop, the Governor urged upon the students to go for multi-pronged approach for their empowerment to tap the potential of the region.
He also asked them to shoulder the responsibility of increasing the prosperity of region by being its brand ambassadors.
Prof 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 the Northeast and ASEAN countries.
Government of India is working to improve this land route, the Governor added.
The Government of India has adopted a multi-modal programme, across land, water and air to increase the connectivity of the region between India and its eastern and southeast Asian neighbours.
The Governor also said that for Government of India development of the Northeast is an urgent and paramount importance.
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.
Under UDAN, the scheme of construction of Greenfield Airport at Ciethu, Kohima are on the pipe line.
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 emphasized 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.
Prof Mukhi also called upon the students to augur keen interests and involve themselves into an actionable narrative to stimulate the development of Northeast and contribute proactively to become a key partner in the growth momentum of the country.