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Accelerated efforts on to develop NE : VK Singh

By The Assam Tribune

BEIJING, Nov 1 � India has said plans are afoot to form a regional airline to improve air connectivity in eight North- eastern States, including Arunachal Pradesh, besides accelerating the development of rail and road networks in the remote region.

On a visit to China to attend a conference on the peace and security in Afghanistan, Minister of State for External Affairs and NE VK Singh declined to comment on different perceptions India and China have on development of the border region due to the boundary dispute.

Singh, who was the former Army chief, gave a broad outline about how development plans are being carried out to improve the infrastructure and employment opportunity in the eight States including Arunachal Pradesh which China claims as Southern Tibet.

He said a regional airline is being contemplated to operate small aircrafts which can carry passengers and connect them to Air India at bigger airports.

He specially spoke of Arunachal Pradesh where an airport is coming up at its capital Itanagar. Land problem has been sorted out and the airport is coming up, he said listing out two other small airports in the border State.

Singh said after the new government came to power, 58 % increase in railway budget allocation has been made for NE.

On concerns over China constructing dams over Brahmaputra river, he said an integrated study of the Brahmaputra basin is being carried out, specially the water availability of its tributaries. The study will provide the data needed to assess Brahmaputra water flows, he said. � PTI

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