Speaking at the summit, he said that development of Northeast region is development of the nation and the true measure of India’s partnership with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and hence is important.
He said though there has been a misconception in ‘short period of history’ that Northeast is considered as frontier of India. “But far from being a frontier, Northeast has been at the heart of Indian imagination. And in the South Asia and Southeast Asia continuum Northeast is right in the middle,” he added.
Reiterating his interest in the region, the President said the rich potential of the Northeastern states cannot be ignored and that “few regions of the world have such a wealth of cultural, ethnic and religious diversity packed into a small area.”
Ramnath expressed his ambition to place the region into the most developed region of the country saying that with the coming of railways three years ago; extensive development of railway links in the Northeast is under way, with investments totalling Rs 90,000 crore.
Further he said road building in the region is busier than it has ever been. Border roads, National Highways and state roads are all being built or improved. Incorporated in July 2014, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation is working with special focus on the Northeast, he said, adding it is engaged in about 100 road projects in the region.
He also emphasised saying that the Northeastern region is the true driver of Act East Policy, and added that “India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway and the Kaladan Multi-modal Transit Transport Project are critical for many of our countries and for the Northeast.”
The Northeast is also the corridor for so many trade and connectivity projects on the Bangladesh-Bhutan-India-Nepal (BBIN) and the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) platforms, he also mentioned.
The summit co-organised by India Foundation was also attended by Bangladesh civil aviation minister, Rashid Khan, union minister for commerce and industry, Suresh Prabhu, union minister for civil avaiation, Jayant Sinha, union minister for tourism, K. J. Alphons, chief minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, CM of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu, CM of Nagaland, T. R. Zeliang as special guests.
NITI Aayog vice chairman, Rajiv Kumar Sharma, managing director of Patanjali Ayurved Limited, Acharya Balkrishna and UN resident coordinator Yuri Afanaslev also attended the function as presidium members.
Source: Imphal Free Press