Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced Rs. 90,000 crore for improving roads and national highways in the Northeast in the next two to three years to facilitate better connectivity.
The Prime Minister dedicated a 271-km two- lane national highway connecting Tura in western Meghalaya and Shillong, to the nation. Meghalaya was the Prime Minister’s second stop after Mizoram during his day-long visit to the North Eastern region .
Addressing a public gathering in Shillong as reported by PTI , the Prime Minister highlighted the achievement of the NDA government and said: “In three and a half years, the Union government has released about Rs. 470 crore to Meghalaya under the PMGSY for village connectivity and enabled construction of 700km road to connect 100 habitations.”
“This is three times the amount released during the four year period during 2010-2014 of the UPA government.”
On the expansion of Shillong airport, PM Modi said bigger planes like Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 should land in Shillong airport soon after the approval for its extension.
“The Union government has given its approval for runway expansion of Shillong airport and we will spend Rs. 180 crore in this regard and the project should be completed within one and half years,” he said.
He said the state also stands to benefit from the UDAN scheme, a regional airport development programme, under which Shillong will be connected with other cities in the region.
Recalling his recent experience with a sea plane in Gujarat, PM Modi said sea planes could be an option for improving connectivity in the northeast.
Earlier, While addressing a public meeting in Mizoram’s capital Aizawl, PM 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.
PM Modi said the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, connecting Aizawl with the deepwater Sittwe Port in Myanmar, would provide great benefits to northeastern states.
He said with the allocation of Rs. 10,000 crore for the power sector, a state-of-the-art transmission system would be in place soon in the northeast.
The development of the Rih-Tiddim road and the establishment of numerous rural “haat” (markets) along the Mizoram-Myanmar border would increase trade volume, PM 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, PM Modi said, adding that the centre was committed to linking all the state capitals in the northeast 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.
“Over the next 2-3 years, an investment of about Rs. 60,000 crore is proposed under the Special Accelerated Road Development Project (SARDP) in the Northeast and an investment of Rs. 30,000 crore under Bharatmala is proposed for development of national highways in north eastern states,” PM Modi said while addressing a BJP rally .
He said the central government has sanctioned around 4,000-km of national highway (NH) across the Northeast at a cost of Rs. 32,000 crore.
The Prime Minister said that over 1,200 km of NH was constructed at an expenditure of nearly Rs. 14,000 crore during the last three years alone. Union Minister KJ Alphons was present on the occasion.