Aizawl: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the Act East Policy of his government would soon make Mizoram the gateway to the South East Asian countries.
The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project, linking Aizawl with the Sittwe port in Myanmar, would provide wide-ranging benefits for the state, he said. The development of the Rih-Tiddim road and establishment of numerous rural “haat” (flee markets) along the Mizoram- Myanmar border would also increase the trade volume, Modi said while addressing a public meeting at the Assam Rifles ground in Aizawl after inaugurating the 60-MW Tuirial hydro-electric power project.
The high literacy rate, presence of a large number of English-speaking people and good hospitality could transform Mizoram into a model tourist destination, he said, adding that the Centre was committed to linking all the state capitals in the north-east by rail. Talking of infrastructure schemes in the region, the prime minister said the Centre had launched the North East Special Infrastructure Scheme (NESIS) to fill in the gaps in the basic facilities.
“The new scheme has been designed after due consultations with the state governments. However, to ensure continuity, all the ongoing projects under the Non Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) will be given funds for completion by March, 2022,” he said, adding that the Centre would provide Rs5,300 crore to the north-eastern states under the scheme over the next three years.
Stating that poor connectivity was one of the biggest hurdles in the path of development of the north-eastern region, Modi said his government had sanctioned over 3,800km of national highway, with an investment of Rs32,000 crore, over the last three years. Nearly 1,200km of roads had already been constructed, he added.
The Centre would be investing another Rs60,000 crore under the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in the north-east and Rs30,000 crore under the Bharatmala project over the next two to three years, Modi said. He also said the farmers in the north-east could now produce, transport and sell bamboo without any restrictions as the Centre had relaxed the bamboo restriction regime.
Modi added that bamboo, which was earlier classified as tree, was now classified as grass to enable its cultivation for commercial purposes.