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North Eastern Region witnesses rapid development due to Centre’s thrust on infrastructure, connectivity

First Published: 4th January, 2023 8:36 IST

The northeastern states have witnessed rapid development over the last eight years with the government laying thrust on increasing connectivity and boosting infrastructure and health facilities.

The northeastern states have witnessed rapid development over the last eight years with the government laying thrust on increasing connectivity and boosting infrastructure and health facilities.
Five north-eastern state capitals have been connected with flights for the first time in 75 years with an increase in flight movements from 852 per week in 2014 to 1,817 per week in 2022, amounting to an overall increase of about 113 per cent.

Adding to 9 airports built until 2014, 7 new airports have been built in the last nine years alone.
The rapid pace with which the region has developed is reflective of the emphasis that the Centre has placed on increasing connectivity in the north-eastern region and the construction of highways in remote and inaccessible areas as well.
The North Eastern part of India was not adequately served with the basic infrastructural aspects that one would ordinarily take for granted in any urban metropolitan city of the country. Owing to increased separatism in the region, cross-border terrorism as well as lack of vision on the part of the leadership, no real push towards building connections between the rest of the country and the northeastern areas could take place for a long time period.

However, the last eight years have seen the states of the northeast to become partners in the overall development journey of India with immense inclusive developmental works and projects having been undertaken to improve the lives of the people living in these areas.
The focus has been on creating basic infrastructure, ensuring advanced healthcare and quality education as well as promoting infrastructure progress via the construction of roads, tunnels, airports and new railway networks. Many similar steps have been taken to strengthen multimodal connectivity in the region as well.
A new chapter is now been added to this saga of progress in the form of the Donyi Polo airport at Hongi, about 25 kilometres from Itanagar along with the construction of the 600 MW hydro power station at Kameng.
Reflecting the indigenous reverence for the Donyi/Sun and the Polo/Moon, the name of the airport has been chosen after deliberations with the local population as well.

Cited as a new beginning for the aviation sector in the North East, the Donyi Polo airport has a capacity to serve 300 passengers at a time with a separate area being developed for four Mi-17 type helicopters.
The long-awaited connectivity of Arunachal Pradesh’s capital Itanagar with other major cities of the country through air routes has come true. This would not only mean seamless movement for local residents but shall also provide fresh opportunities for the development of trade and tourism in the state by serving more than 30 lakh people in the vicinity.

The largest state of the region as well as strategically the most significant, Arunachal Pradesh, has added two significant projects to its holistic developmental model.
In terms of according top priority, the tourism, telecom, textile and trade sector have been earmarked as well.
Despite the pandemic, the work on these two projects was not stalled and was completed within a very short time duration as well.
Developed at the cost of about Rs 8,450 crore and spread over an area of 80 kilometers, the Kameng hydropower project is part of the larger self-reliant India (Atmanirbhar Bharat) initiative of the energy sector.
Setting examples of a changing work culture amidst the red-tapism that plagues the Indian bureaucracy, the setting up of deadlines for various projects and ensuring timely monitoring directly by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has been a game changer.

Despite the apathy that the North-Eastern region faced for more than six decades since attainment of independence, the last eight years have brought about a whole new era in itself with cataclysmic transformation for the entire country and people.
With the formation of a separate ministry for the North Eastern Region, a huge change in attitude was finally seen with respect to the development in the region as well.
The country’s longest bridge, longest rail bridge, rail line connectivity as well as record construction of highways are all significant and bright examples that highlight the developmental work undertaken within the region in a short stint. (ANI)

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