Agartala: Ten years ago, not many people knew about Northeast except the states of Assam and Meghalaya. There was a bad perception about NE among the people in the mainland, which has changed thanks to the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Saturday.
Deb was speaking at the inaugural session of the North East Festival in Guwahati. He said earlier, Assam was known to people since it is a big state. But now, all Northeast states have a new identity after the Prime minister paid special attention to the region when he realised its potential.
“Sikkim has Nathula and is well developed in the tourism sector. It has got another identity as an organic state in India. Now, people don’t just speak about Nathula, but also see that as an organic state,” Deb said.
He also said that Assam is well developed, and has Kaziranga National Park, minerals, industrial growth and will also get the longest bridge Dr Bhupen Hazarika Setu connecting the state with Arunachal Pradesh.
Speaking further he said, Tripura had only one national highway — Agartala- Assam– since it became a state. During the monsoon when landslides it took at least two months to clear the road. It is only after 2014 when the Modi government came, the total image of Tripura has changed, Deb opined.
“Now, Tripura has been connected from seven ways, starting from rail link between Agartala- Assam, Agartala or Akhaura rail link, Tripura to Bangladesh waterways connecting Varanasi and international airport”, Deb added.
He also said that the queen pineapple is known across the world although it has been grown in the state for several years.
“Pineapple is being exported to Dubai, and lemon is going to America. Why did it not go outside earlier?” Deb questioned.
He also thanked the Assam chief minister for extending a helping hand to other states so that products can be exported outside.
He also praised the efforts of the Prime Minister in building the sports university in Manipur, promoting Meghalaya’s jackfruit, holding Naga peace talks, and promoting the famous Mizo bamboo dance in his Man Ki Baat radio talk.
Deb presented details of various developmental work being undertaken by the state government with support from the centre.
“In Tripura, the national highway is being constructed by spending Rs 11,000 crore, for which tender of about Rs 3,500 crore has been completed. In the next three years, infrastructure development of worth Rs 50,000 crore will be done in the state,” Deb added.
Deb also spoke about various other developmental work undertaken in the northeast and said that once the special economic zone (SEZ) logistic hub and integrated check post (ICP) is inaugurated, all northeast states will benefit.