NEW DELHI, Jul 2: The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today said that all-round development of the north eastern states was the topmost priority of the government and announced its decision to link all state capitals in the region by rail lines.
Emphasizing that connectivity and infrastructure development was the cornerstone of development in the region, the Prime Minister said the government had taken several initiatives to bridge the infrastructure gap including an ambitious road-building programme for the north east region. He was addressing the ceremonial function of the release of the North Eastern Region Vision 2020 Document at the plenary hall of the Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi today at 10.30 am.
He said, “The north eastern region is the land of rising sun for India. The time has come for the sun to shine on it and shine brightly. This Vision 2020 defines the path to that bright future.”
Referring to the initiatives being taken in Manipur, the Prime Minister highlighted that work on the Tipaimukh and Loktak downstream hydro electric projects costing about Rs. 6,000 crores and Rs. 800 crores respectively had been expedited. The Jiribam-Tupul-Imphal railway line, which would put the Manipur valley on the rail map of India, had also been sanctioned as a National Project for Rs. 727 crores.
Stating that violence had been the recurrent theme of discourse for the north east for too long, the Prime Minister appealed to all the patriotic people of the region to work together to create an environment of peace and security to improve the quality of life of all people.
Manipur Governor Dr. SS Sidhu stated that the Vision 2020 provided the road map for economic development of the north eastern region by 2020 and also the integration of the region.
The Governor also emphasized the need for strengthening infrastructure, improvement of road networks and power, maximizing self-governance etc. for a good future of the region.
All the Governors and chief ministers or representatives of the all north eastern states were dignitaries at the function. Manipur Governor Dr. SS Sidhu and Speaker of the Manipur legislative Assembly were among the dignitaries on the dais.
The hall was packed with students and youths of the north eastern states. MLAs and senior officers of the Manipur government also attended the function.