PURVODAY certainly is a great visionary decision of Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. And when we talk about EAST, one must consider the NORTH-EAST states of India.
During the reign of previous governments in the Centre, the North-East region was kind of shut off from the mainstream development agenda, while terrorism, civil war, rebellions were making the news in those areas with mass killings of innocent people, while development was just a dream and mostly on papers.
In recent years, the double-engine government model of the BJP ruling both the Centre and states succeeded in bringing “Delhi – the Government of India – to the doorstep of the Northeast” region. Every officer and the Ministers were asked to visit the (Northeast) region and serve the people as per their local needs under the movements like ‘Go to Hills’ and ‘Go to Village’. Further, there are many important faces from the region in key portfolios in the (Union) Council of Ministers. While a new work culture of change, peace and development prevails in the North East, there is no/minimal extremism reported during the BJP led government rule. With investments and developmental projects ushered in, the NE region is on a path of rapid development and has come a long way away from the ages of darkness.
During his visits to the NE region during January 2022, PM Modi had laid down many infrastructures’ development projects. In Manipur alone, he inaugurated 13 projects worth around Rs1,850 crore and laid the foundation stone for nine projects worth around Rs 2,950 crore. Among the projects for which foundation stones were laid by the PM are five national highways to be built at Rs1,700 crore. And the newly- inaugurated projects include a steel bridge built on the Barak River on NH37, which would decongest traffic between Imphal and Silchar in Assam. He also dedicated 2,387 mobile towers built at a cost of Rs 1,100 crore to the people.
Under the HIRA (Highways, Internet services, Railways & Airways) model of development the PM inaugurated a Rs 500 crore terminal building at the Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) Airport in Agartala, Tripura. With 19 flights operating daily, the MBB Airport is the second busiest airport in the North East region, after Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport of Guwahati. Further, the announcement of Rs 500 crore Vidyajyoti scheme in Tripura is meant to enhance academic levels in 100 CBSE schools with the help of information and communication technology as well vocational training will certainly increase the educational and skill level of the people.
Recently, in the Union Budget 2022, Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman told the august house of Parliament that Modi Govt has put together a Rs 1,500 crore scheme specially meant to “enable livelihood activities for youth and women” in the northeastern states. The scheme will be called Prime Minister Development Initiative for the North East (PM-DevINE). It will fund infrastructure, in the spirit of PM Gati Shakti, and social development projects based on felt needs of the Northeast region. It will be implemented through the North East Council.
Under the North East (PM-DevINE) scheme, seven projects have been identified, that includes two in Mizoram covering a majority of the allocated funds. While Rs 500 crore has been allocated for the construction of a bypass in Aizawl, Rs 100 crore has been set aside for a pilot project to construct a ‘bamboo link road’ at different districts of the state.
In Sikkim, Rs 64 crore has been allocated for the passenger ropeway system from Pelling to Sanga-Choeling in West Sikkim and Rs 58 crore has been earmarked to fund a ropeway from Dhapper to Bhaleydhunga in South Sikkim.
Apart from the above infrastructure development projects, two multi-state projects such as the establishment of “dedicated services for the Management of Pediatric and Adult Hematolymphoid Cancers in North East India, Guwahati” and “NECTAR Livelihood Improvement” project has been planned. Another Rs.537 crore out of the total Rs.1500 crore has been kept aside for yet to be identified projects in the North East region.
With an approximate 75% reduction of violent incidents since 2014, in the past 7-8 years peace and normalcy has returned in most parts of North East. Though many regions were removed from under AFSPA, the Modi Government is working towards lifting the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) from the Northeast region.
During his last visit to NE, Modi ji launched the Rs 1,150 crore Amrit Sarovar Project to rejuvenate 2,950 water bodies across Assam. While 7 Cancer Hospital foundation stones were laid during that time in Assam, an overall 17 Cancer Hospitals are on the line across the NE region with an estimated Rs.4,000 crores investment.
In addition to all these, lakhs of people from North East are getting benefits under various central government schemes like Kisan Samman Nidhi, Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Ayushman Yojana – as well as free gas and electricity connections, toilets and Covid vaccines for free.
Someone who understands the NE well, Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister for shipping, ports, and waterways said recently in Rajya Sabha that the Modi government has worked tirelessly to develop the region while the earlier governments only paid lip service. According to him, PM Modi and HM Amit Shah have taken strong steps to bring peace in the region. Due to that, investors are now looking to invest in the region. Also, the entire North Eastern states have witnessed change in the last few years as the central government has focused on increasing transport avenues, enhancing communication and connectivity, and creating infrastructure.
While there are many developmental projects underway, NEP 2020 is also gaining momentum in NE region. Educational development being another prime focus of Modi Govt, the implementation of NEP will ensure a better education and skill development of the people of North East region ushering in a holistic growth of the people and places. Further the visiting of most Union Ministers and Leaders to directly review and oversee the management of the development projects will certainly lead to 100% perfection and timely delivery of results. Gone are the days of violence and extremism, welcome to the Modi Era of Development. Rightly said by Modi ji “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Viswas” that is taking shape in all over the North Eastern States.