Rs 5 lakh crore, 64 visits in 9 yrs; PM Modi prioritised Northeast like no one ever did: Sonowal

PM Modi in past 9 years has given Rs 5 lakh crore for Northeast in 9 years, of which more than 925 projects have been completed in the region
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal addressed a press conference regarding ‘Development of Northeast Region since 2014' on Tuesday
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal addressed a press conference regarding ‘Development of Northeast Region since 2014' on TuesdayPIB

New Delhi: The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal termed the Northeast as the powerhouse of India’s cruise towards self-reliance here today. The Union Minister addressed a press conference regarding ‘Development of Northeast Region’ since 2014 here in the national capital on Tuesday.

Sonowal highlighted the key role played by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Government to bring the Northeast India to the forefront of India Growth story, with sincere and concrete effort towards sustained peace & security, focussed approach to uplift the marginal sections of the society for them to lead a life of dignity, innovative policy framework enabling a positive environment for trade and commerce to prosper led to the historic rise of northeast since 2014.

Public Sector's voice PSU Watch is now on Whatsapp Channels. Click here to join

Power House of India’s cruise towards self-reliance

Speaking on the occasion, he said, “Under the dynamic leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, the Northeast is the Power House of India’s cruise towards self-reliance. Given the transformational connectivity that northeast has experienced in last 9 years, the region has now become the potential hotspot of trade and commerce".

"Modi ji realised the strategic importance of northeast and enabled an environment of economic resurgence with promising commerce with the ASEAN, BBIN group of countries”, the minister added.

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal addressed a press conference regarding ‘Development of Northeast Region since 2014' on Tuesday
Rs 44,000 cr International Container Transhipment Port: Sonowal reviews project

Insurgency contained

Speaking about the peace effort for sustained development in the region, the Minister said, “Due to the humane approach of Modi ji, the insurgency has come down drastically leading to near 100% drop of civilian casualty in 2023. More than 8,000 insurgents have surrendered in last nine years".

He said "a concerted effort to scale down Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) has led to complete withdrawn from Tripura and Meghalaya, significant reduction of area under the act in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur. With historic peace accords with Bodos, Naga, Karbi, Tripuri and Bru & Adivasi, the disgruntled communities have been brought to the mainstream through dialogue, resulting in sustained peace that the region was hoping & longing for decades".

This is the ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’ as decades old differences were addressed head on with dignity and respect to find amicable solutions.

Travel time reduced

Speaking about the reduction of travel time between northeast and other states Minister said that with railways lines already reaching Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Manipur, and Meghalaya, apart from Assam, the travel time has reduced significantly.

Sonowal said Modi ji is the only Prime Minister to have visited the Northeast 64 times which is highest for any PM of India ever. "This shows the commitment of Modi ji for the people of the northeast to bring them to the mainstream & make them active members in the process of nation building towards a self reliance Atmanirbhar Bharat in 2047”, he said.

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal addressed a press conference regarding ‘Development of Northeast Region since 2014' on Tuesday
Sonowal reviews GMIS 2023 projects; directs stakeholders for faster execution

Sonowal spoke to journalists in detail about the newly launched PM-DevINE scheme, for NER, by the Prime Minister in October, 2022 with 100% Central funding, having a total outlay of Rs 6,600 crores for the 4-year period from 2022-23 to 2025-26. He said in FY 2022-23, 11 projects worth Rs 1,503 crores have been selected for sanction. This has opened up tremendous opportunities for this region.

Act East Policy

Modi Government has spent Rs 1,040 crores on development of waterways which has resulted in operating of 20 Waterways in NER which was only ‘ONE’ till 2014. With the initiatives taken in last 9 years the cargo handled via Indo Bangladesh Protocol route (IBPR) has increased to 170%. It is also noteworthy that the first Ship Repair facility, with an investment worth Rs 208 crores, in NER is being developed through Hooghly-Cochin Shipyard Limited (HCSL) at Pandu along River Brahmaputra.

This year, as a major development of Cruise tourism in Brahmaputra, MV Ganga Vilas, completed the longest river cruise route in the world by travelling from Varanasi to Dibrugarh via Bangladesh covering around 3,200 km in 51 days.

Further to this, the development of 6 ferry terminals at Kurua, Bahari, Dhubri, Guijan, Ghagor & Matmora in Assam worth Rs 310 crores will cater to the transportation needs of commuters, which will ease the current bottlenecks of transportation.

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW), under its Sagarmala programme, has taken up projects worth more than Rs 1,000 crores for the development of North-East states.

In comparison to UPA-2 (2009-14), there has been an increase of 370% in average annual budget allocation for NER. Before 2014, only Guwahati (Assam) was connected to the rail network in the North Eastern region. Today, under ‘Capital Connectivity’ project, Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh) and Agartala (Tripura) have now been connected.

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal addressed a press conference regarding ‘Development of Northeast Region since 2014' on Tuesday
Firm on faster execution of PM Maritime Amritkaal Vision 2047: Sonowal

During this last 9 years, pioneering steps have been taken in the NER which has enabled people of this region to cherish many facilities for the first time in this area.

First goods train reached Manipur

In 2022, the first Goods Train reached Rani Gaidinliu railway station, Tamenglong in Manipur. Also, the first Leased Parcel Cargo Express Train (PCET) travelled from Azara in Guwahati, Assam to Vasco-da-Gama in Goa. In 2023, the first electric train reached Meghalaya. Interestingly, the newly commissioned Agartala - Akhaura railway project, linking Bangladesh and the North-Eastern states of India will cut down the time between Kolkata and Agartala significantly.

Bogibeel Rail-cum-Road Bridge built

NER has also seen many infrastructural developments during last 9 years. One such is the construction of Bogibeel Rail-cum-Road Bridge over River Brahmaputra near Bogibeel with link lines on north & south banks (Length–73 km) — in the state of Assam, was completed in December, 2018 with an estimated cost of Rs 5,920 crores.

Highlighting the achievements the Union Minister said, “Since 2014, the length of the National Highways in NER has increased from 10,905 Kms to 15,735 Kms resulting an increase of 45%".

Under the, North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS), 145 projects worth Rs 3,392.99 crores have been sanctioned for the development in the North Eastern States.

Rise in number of airports

There is a record growth in the number of airports in NER. The number of airports has increased to 17 in 2023 as compared to 9 in 2013, with 3 international airport now as compared to 1 airport then. The traffic movement has also increased by 113%.

North East Gas Grid

North Eastern Region Power System Improvement Project (NERPSIP), under Ministry of Power, has recently got its revised estimates of Rs 6,700 crores for implementation of various projects in NER, except Arunachal Pradesh, which is targeted to be commissioned by January 2024.

A North East Gas Grid has been conceived at an estimated cost of Rs 9,265 crores which covers 1,656 Kms across all 8 States. A bio refining plant at a cost of Rs 3,250 crores has also been setup in Assam.

Spent Rs 21,151 crore in education sector since 2014

Since 2014 Government has established 843 schools and up-skilled 25,64,628 teachers. Not only at school level but at higher education level, the govt has established 8 new medical colleges, 2 new IIITs (Manipur and Tripura), 1 new IIMC (Mizoram), 1 new AIIMS (Assam), and 1 new Sports University (Manipur).

Rs 31,794 crore spent to improve health infra

Government has also spent Rs 31,794 crore in the health sector which includes approval of 19 state cancer institutes and 20 tertiary care cancer centres. The first All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the North east is now operational at Changsari near Guwahati.

Since 2014-15, Rs 37,092 crores have been sanctioned for various projects. The Subansiri Hydro Electric Power project (2000 MW) being built at a cost of Rs 19,992 crores is expected to bring huge development to the region. 77 lakh households have been electrified including 30 lakh households under ‘Saubhagya Yojana’. As many as 5,790 villages have been electrified under ‘Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana'.

To improve telecom connectivity in the NER, Rs 4,360 crores have been spent since 2014. More than 12,690 Gram Panchayats are being connected via Bharat Net project. BSNL has taken 20 Gbps connection from Bangladesh to enhance internet connectivity in the region. There are now 1,000 4G towers and 5,600 villages are connected.

PSU Watch