Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Handique’s vision for Northeast

Unless Handique’s department is manned considerably by the people of the Northeast, the DoNER idea of development will remain a mere dream. How far can someone from the mainland appreciate the concerns of the people of the Northeast and understand their sensitivity? Shouldn’t officials from the Northeast get top priority in DoNER?

By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Aug 26: Union Minister of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) BK Handique laid emphasis on surface and air connectivity in the north-eastern region.
In an exclusive interview with The Sentinel in the Circuit House in Guwahati today, the DoNER Minister said both surface connectivity and air connectivity are not satisfactory, and this is one of the major factors for backwardness of the region. On development of air connectivity, Handique said this problem can be solved by the Civil Aviation Ministry and the Ministry of DoNER. The minister wants that all the State capitals of the eight north-eastern States should have air connectivity.

According to the Union minister, it takes over a year for clearance of a project, and this delay must be reduced to a considerable extent for speedy implementation of projects taken up by the DoNER. The minister said he is discussing this problem with the concerned State governments for evolving a mechanism to avoid this delay.

Regarding commercial potentiality, Handique said the region can be transformed into commercial hub by developing surface connectivity with Myanmar via Mizoram, and for that emphasis has been laid on the sea route.

In order to close the refugee camps in the Kokrajhar and other areas of the State which were set up in the wake of disturbance in Kokrajhar since 1996, Handique said an amount of Rs 59 crore has been earmarked for the purpose. He also said an amount of Rs 680 crore has been earmarked for all NE States for different development programmes for next year. He said during the first 100 days after his assumption of office, he chalked out the road map for developmental activities of the region. THE SENTINEL

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