From Dhrubajyoti Chakravorty
Shillong, July 10: Union home ninister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said the road to “new India” will go through a developed and peaceful “new north-east” and without a “new North East” a new India is impossible.
Addressing the concluding meeting of the 67th plenary of the North Eastern Council (NEC) today, he said the dream of a “new India” would be realised with the vision of a “new north-east”.
The two-day session was attended by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh, besides the governors and chief ministers of the eight north-eastern states as members.
The Home Minister said a “new north-east” would emerge through better road connectivity and information technology, which would help realise the economic potential of the region.
Stating that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a dream of a new India by 2022, he said the north-east needed better road connectivity and the region had recently made some progress in this area.
The senior BJP leader also said this would stop the migration of people from the region to distant places.
Stressing that the ITIs and polytechnic institutes in the region should contribute to skill development, Singh said the NEC should consider setting up a Regional Institute for Skill Development.
Underlining the importance of employment and income generation to counter insurgency in the region, he said, “The north-eastern states need to create a conducive environment for private investments, an atmosphere that makes the investors feel safe. It will give a big boost to investments.”
Singh also stressed on accelerating agricultural growth in order to achieve Prime Minister Modi’s dream of doubling the farmers’ income by 2022.
“We should focus on growing low-volume, high-value crops for export. The Railway Ministry can help export the perishable commodities and horticulture produce like kiwis and flowers using superfast AC wagons,” he said.
Suggesting the revival of the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC) for the marketing of agricultural produce, Singh said the North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP) and the self-help groups could help in this regard.
Promising the Centre’s support to the north-eastern states in improving the police infrastructure, he said the states should capitalise on the prevailing peaceful scenario to improve the law-and-order situation and strengthen policing in the region.
Singh added that each of the north-eastern states was blessed with unique development potential and the state governments should identify those areas, chalk out a plan and ensure its effective implementation.
Underlining the need to implement schemes in a time-bound manner, the Union minister said, “We need to prevent leakages in the system and ensure total transparency and accountability. I urge the chief ministers of all the north-eastern states to work towards this end with a missionary zeal.”
“If we can provide quality broadband services in the region the youth of the North East will find the employment opportunities closer to their home. It would also stop the migration of local youth to distant areas of the country,” he added.
Singh assured Centre’s support to the North Eastern states in improving Police infrastructure. “The North Eastern states should capitalise on the prevailing peaceful scenario to improve the law and order situation and strengthen policing in the region.”