9 major projects for NE in the pipeline : Sitharaman
GUWAHATI, May 29
The Centre is implementing nine major projects in the North East, three of them alone entailing costs of over Rs 1.34 lakh crore, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Sunday.
Once executed, the projects will boost road, rail and air connectivity.
“There are nine major projects being implemented in the North East. Each of them is a signature project. They are quoted to suggest what has been achieved in the North East for their size, scale and imaginative design,” Sitharaman said addressing the third edition of “Natural Allies in Development and Inter- dependence” (NADI) conclave here.
Listing out the projects, she said the Centre was spending over Rs 74,000 crore for 20 railway projects covering a length of 2,011 km. Fifteen projects for air connectivity involves an expenditure of Rs 2,200 crore while some road projects with length of 4,000 km are budgeted to cost Rs 58,000 crore, she added.
Sitharaman also spoke about some other projects but she did not mention their estimated costs.
The projects include the India-Bangladesh Maitree Setu over river Feni, Bogibeel bridge, National Waterways 2 and 16 on rivers Brahmaputra and Barak respectively, infrastructure projects for power transmission and distribution including rural electrification, BharatNet projects to provide broadband connectivity to all gram panchayats and 4G mobile connectivity for seamless coverage along National Highways.
Talking about NADI, she said, “This is a topic in which many of us ministers have been involved, interested and would like to act on. The oft-repeated Act East and Look East are also finding tractions when you have such dialogues. When it is held in the North East, it certainly brings the focus rightly to the region which deserves to be given all the attention.
“From the last few years of my observing this Asian conclave and also NADI, the very name is linked to riverine civilisations and also focussing on natural alliance which is what is coined from for development and inter-dependence. It is a natural alliance that we want to build on,” the minister said.
She said she was impressed that the organisers could pick five Cs – commerce, culture, connectivity, conservation and capacity building – in which enough focus had to be given.
If NADI, the name, itself talks of inter-connectivity, it certainly builds on culture and commerce, Sitharaman said. The 5 Cs really give those five pillars on which this conclave, not just the 3rd edition but also future editions, have to focus on, she said.
“They essentially capture all areas which are critical for the Northeast. The Eight Sisters or Ashta Lakshmi, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi refers them to, desperately needed that connectivity all these decades,” Sitharaman said.
“The Centre’s focus in the last seven years has been very much in line on these 5 Cs. Therefore, this edition of NADI, actually, can take many things forward because the focus is very much on the five Cs as much as funding,” she added.
Ambassadors and High Commissioners of the Southeast Asian Nations were among those who attended the two-day conclave that concluded on Sunday.
The New Indian Express