It is well known that Northeast has largely remained out of the direct sphere of governance due to the oft-repeated reason of ‘tyranny of distance’. However, Modi government has brought the focus of the central government and rest of the nation on the innumerable opportunities arising due to the development of the region. It has laid a solid foundation in the region to fulfill the aspiration of the people.
The government is working on multiple fronts to bring the region at the same level of development as the rest of the country. It has been able to successful complete long-standing infrastructural projects as well fulfill demands of the people of the region in the last 5 years.
Accelerated Pace of Infrastructural Growth
The pace of infrastructural growth is changing the face of the northeastern region. Engineering marvels like one of the five highest airports in the country - Pakyong airport, India’s longest bridge – DholaSadiya bridge, India's largest railroad bridge - Bogibeel Bridge, have been successfully made operational for the benefit of North-East region’s economy as well deepen connectivity.
The government has initiated the construction of a new AIIMS in Guwahati with a cost of more than Rs. 1,100 Crores, thus, bringing tertiary healthcare facilities nearby. In order to connect the North East with a national gas grid, a gas pipeline up to Guwahati is being laid by GAIL at a cost of Rs. 3,000 Crores.
More Power to the Northeast
Ensuring power for every village and every household has benefited the Northeast tremendously. In the last five years, 6000 villages and around13 lakh households in the northeast have been electrified. Recently, Mizoram became the 3rd power surplus state in the Northeast Region (NER) after Sikkim and Tripura. The North-East region is now experiencing ‘Transformation by Development’.
Boost to the Local Ts: Textiles, Trade and Tourism
India’s Northeast is blessed with great cultural diversity, especially in terms of textiles. For the first time ever North East Investors’ Summit was held in Shillong, especially focused to promote the textile industry and allied sectors.
Development and modernization of the textile sector in the Northeastern states will create more jobs, especially for women of that region. Each apparel and garment manufacturing centre under the North East Region Textile Scheme is employing around 1,200 people.
The region is being developed as a trade and tourism hub, with India’s ‘Act East Policy’ in focus. Access to sea via Bangladesh and Myanmar is beneficial for the economy of the landlocked northeast. The India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway has opened the ASEAN market through seamless passenger and freight movement.
The Buddhist tourism circuit from East India begins from Bihar and traverse through many Northeastern states into the nations of Southeast Asia. Accordingly, a favorable ecosystem has been put in place. This initiative carries the potential of becoming a significant contributor in advancing tourism sector in the region.
Boost to Bamboo Farming
Bamboo is central to the rural economy of the northeast. Its classification as tree meant various restrictions to produce, transport, and sale. In order to boost the local economy, the government re-classified bamboo from ‘tree’ to ‘grass’. It has led to free movement of bamboo products, encourages bamboo plantation and boosts farmers’ income.
Strengthening the Organic Farming Sector
India’s northeast is an organic farming hub. The necessary support from the government is ensuring that it continues to become a model of sustainable agriculture for the nation and the world. The Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana has brought around 45,000 hectares of land under organic farming. Further, an organic value chain is being developed with support for a gamut of services including seeds, certification, aggregation, processing, marketing and brand building.
There is a lot of enthusiasm among the people of northeastern states with the manner in which a new northeast is being developed with the sustained efforts in various sectors. A new northeast seems is emerging that is gearing to lead India’s development journey.