GUWAHATI: Prime minister, Central Sector Scheme, North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme which will fill the gaps in the creation of infrastructure in two sectors.
Modi who was in Mizoram said, “One sector is physical infrastructure relating to water supply, power, connectivity and especially projects promoting tourism. The other is social sector projects of education and health. The new scheme has been designed after due consultations with State Governments.However, to ensure continuity, all ongoing projects under NLCPR (Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources) will be provided funds for completion by March 2022.
The prime minister added that the new Scheme will be 100 percent centrally funded as against the NLCPR, where 10 percent contribution had to come from the State Governments. The Central Government will be providing Rs 5300 crore to the North Eastern States under the Scheme over the next three years.
“As a result of the efforts of the Union Government, schemes for the benefit of the North-Eastern region have been gained momentum. Projects stuck for years are now progressing. I am told, the Ministry for Development of the North-East Region is also supporting the activities of the North Eastern Handicrafts and Handloom Development Corporation; and the North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation.” Modi added.
Modi dedicated to the 60 Mega-Watt Tuirial Hydro-power Project to the nation. This comes 13 years after the last major central sector hydro-power project in the North-Eastern Region–the Kopili Stage-II.
Tuirial Hydro-power project is the first major Central Sector Project to be successfully commissioned in Mizoram. It is the first large hydropower project in the State. It will produce 251 Million Units of electrical energy every year and boost the socio-economic development of the State.
With the commissioning of this project, Mizoram becomes the third power-surplus State in the North-East, after Sikkim and Tripura. The project was first declared and cleared by the Union Government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, way back in 1998, but got delayed.
Modi said, “The completion of this project is a reflection of our commitment to complete on-going projects and usher in a new era of development in the North Eastern region. I see no reason why Mizoram cannot become a net power exporter. Our aim is not just to make the North Eastern States power surplus. We also aim to develop a state-of-art transmission system which ensures that surplus power is transferred to other power deficient parts of the country. ”
Modi said, “My Government is investing close to Rupees10,000 crores for a comprehensive improvement in the power transmission system in the North Eastern States. We are betting on the skills and strengths of India’s youth. We believe in ’empower through enterprise’ – which is creating the right eco-system for innovation and enterprise to flourish so that our land is home to the next big ideas that can transform humanity.
He further said, “My Government believes in competitive and cooperative federalism, where there is healthy competition between States. I am convinced that States are the main drivers of change. We have taken a number of initiatives to infuse healthy competition among States. A Committee of Chief Ministers made recommendations to rationalize Centrally Sponsored Schemes. We duly accepted the recommendations.
He detailed despite fiscal constraints, the sharing pattern of core centrally sponsored schemes for the North Eastern States has been continued at 90-10. For other schemes, it stands at 80-20. The Union Government has plans to focus on around 115 districts which are relatively backward when evaluated on various social indicators. This will also benefit the backward districts of North Eastern States including Mizoram.
The prime minister said lack of connectivity is one of the biggest hurdles in the path of development of the North Eastern Region. “We aim for a Transformation by Transportation through investment in infrastructure in the region. The Union Government has sanctioned over 3800 kilometers of National Highway with an investment of Rupees 32000 crore during last three years, out of which nearly 1200 kilometers of the road has already been constructed. ”
Modi said that the Union Government will be investing another Rupees 60,000 crore under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in the North-East and Rs. 30,000 crore under Bharatmala in the next two to three years to build a network of highways and roads in the North East Region. We are committed to bringing all the State Capitals of North East Region on the Rail map.
The Prime minister informed that the Government of India is executing 15 New Rail Line projects of 1385 kilometers length, at a cost of over Rs.47,000 crore. The railways reached Mizoram last year, with the inauguration of the rail line connecting Bhairabi in Mizoram with Silchar in Assam. “I had laid the foundation for a new line to take rail connectivity to Aizawl in 2014.With the support of the State Government, we shall connect the State Capital Aizawl with the broad gauge rail line.”
He added that the Union Government has been proactively following the ‘Act East Policy’. As a gateway to South East Asia, Mizoram stands to gain immensely from this. It can emerge as a key transit point for trade with Myanmar and Bangladesh. Various bilateral projects are at various stages of completion. Some of the major initiatives include the Rih-Tedim Road Project and Border Haats.
Modi expressed hope that all these will increase the scope for economic linkages, and contribute to the overall economic growth and development of the North-Eastern Region. The high literacy rate, scenic beauty and availability of large English speaking population in Mizoram make for a perfect blend to develop the State as a model tourist destination.
“The State offers significant scope for adventure tourism, cultural tourism, eco-tourism, wildlife tourism, and community-based rural tourism. If developed well, tourism can emerge as the biggest employer in the state.The Union Government has sanctioned two tourism projects worth 194 crore rupees for Mizoram in the last 2 years, to promote eco-tourism and adventure tourism.The Central Government has already released 115 crore rupees for implementation of these projects: Modi added.
Modi said that Bamboo which is a source of livelihood for lakhs of people of North East has been under a very restrictive regulatory regime. “You could not transport or sell the Bamboo produced in your own field without a permit. Our Government with an aim to reduce this pain has changed the regulatory regime. Now there will be no requirement of any permit or permission for producing, transporting and selling Bamboo and its products produced by farmers in their own fields. This will benefit lakhs of farmers and will add to the efforts to double farmers’ income by 2022.”
Modi pinned hope that soft power of football can become Mizoram’s global identity. There are many other prominent sportspersons from Mizoram who have brought glory to the State and the country. These include the Olympian Archer C. Lalremsanga, boxer Jenny Lalremliani, weightlifter Lalchhahimi, and hockey player Lalruatfeli.