Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma has come up with a unique suggestion of having “sister-states” to bring about a holistic development in India.
Sangma met Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently, and told him that since Team India, which is the NITI Ayog is working with Central government; even the states need to work together for development of India.
“Let there be a sister states relationship between two states,” Sangma said, adding that the governments of the two states can sign MOUs for mutual cooperation and development.
Citing an example, the CM said Meghalaya can have sister state relationship with Maharashtra. “There can be exchange in terms of culture, music, students’ exchange and research collaboration between the two states,” he said.
Sangma said while tourism can be an important aspect of the “sisters-states” relationships, Bollywood film industry may find a lot of scope in Meghalaya to shoot their films.
“And, the sisters-states relationship is going to help both the states in a big way,” the CM said, adding that the unique organic food from Meghalaya can go to Mumbai, and can find a huge market there.
Entrepreneurs can also connect with each other, and if all the states connect with each other, it could further strengthen Team India in making India a developed nation, Sangma said.
Sangma also suggested that since northeast states are land-locked, and there is no access to ports; one eight-lane express highway connecting Guwahati with Chittagong port via Meghalaya is the need of the hour.
“Since northeast states contribute to only one percent of India’s exports, the express highway can help northeastern states to contribute greatly to India’s exports,” the Chief Minister said.
Sangma said, at present, the nearest port for the northeast is in Kolkata, and is about 1,100 kms away from Guwahati.
“With close coordination with Bangladesh government, the northeastern states can also emerge as major contributors to India exports,” the CM said.