60th NEC Meet Begins, NEC Chairman Sets Sight On Vision 2020

NEW DELHI, Jun 16: Union Minister of DoNER & Chairman North East Council, BK Handique inaugurated the 60th North East Council plenary sessions today morning at Parliament Annexe in New Delhi.  Governors, Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries from the 8 North Eastern States and other officials and dignitaries were pre-sent at the session which will conclude tomorrow.

Governor Gurbachan Jagat and Chief Secretary DS Poonia represented the State.

In his inaugural speech, DoNER Minister and Chairman of NEC, BK Handique elucidated his endeavor of realizing the Vision 2020.  The Geo Spatial application by Ministry of Science and Technology on GIS mapping of social infrastructure in Nagaland and Manipur will be presented in the following sessions. The Union Minister said that there are several pilot projects that are being taken up.

A study on specific sectors was conducted by Tata Consultancy Services in the Tourism sector.

The Minister underlined that Tourism need to have a regional approach and cannot prosper unless there is fast and reliable connectivity to and within the region. He highlighted the importance of air transport in a region like the North East.

On the situation of roads and connectivity, the BK Handique observed that many of the strategic roads and stretches which have been in the making for a long time were still incomplete. The Minister requested the State CMs and members of NEC to speed up development works of NH-53, the rail cum road Bogibeel Bridge, gauge conversion of Lumding- Silchar- Jiribam line etc.

The Union Minister informed that the Inland Waterways Authority of India has brought out a report on the scope of developing waterways in the rivers of NE States. An MoU has also been signed for regional medical and paramedical institutes in Nagaland and Tripura.

The NEC and Powergrid Corporation jointly collaborated to prepare DPRs for transmission and power distribution in the region. The Ministry of Power is discussing with the World Bank for implementation of the project, who will be visiting the region soon.

Under the ADB assistance and the North East State Roads Investment Programs, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs in May 2011 approved to construct and upgrade the 433 km road in six States at an estimated cost of Rs 1353 crores wherein a stretch of 93 kms lie in Manipur.

The Minister said that Agriculture is one of the priorities of NEC. The allocation of 3.2 per cent in 2009-10 was raised to 11.43 per cent in 2011-12.

Noting the huge social and infrastructural deficit in the region, the Union Minister said that various institutes of excellence such as IIT would be set up.

He also announced a cultural program called “North East Wave’. The programs will go on air soon and the mega final will be held in Guwahati. For working women from Northeast who are residing in Delhi, a 500 room hostel has been completed while another is under construction for students.   A cash award (as special incentive) was given out for the first time today to outstanding sportsmen and sportswomen from Northeast India. Rs 10 lakhs for the gold medalist, Rs 5 lakhs for silver and Rs 3 lakhs for bronze won in the Common Wealth Games and Asian Games were given away to four gold medalist, one silver and six bronze winners of the CWG 2010. Two gold medalists, two silver and five bronze winners of Asian games 2010.  Among the recipients were ten from Manipur, one each from Assam, Sikkim and Tripura.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express / Ninglun Hanghal)

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