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AGP for reopening of Stilwell Road

By Staff reporter

GUWAHATI, June 26 � Opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) today reiterated the demand for re-opening the historic Stilwell Road for better connectivity and speedy economic development of the Northeast region. Party vice president Pradip Hazarika urged the people of the region to unite and become vociferous in support of this demand.

Addressing the media today, Hazarika said that re-opening of the road would not just ensure accelerated economic development of the Northeast India, it would also expand the trade opportunities with Southeast Asian countries and China and would have significant tourism opportunities.

�A section of traders doing business in the Northeastern market have a psychological blockade that opening of the Stilwell Road would spoil their business in Northeast, as the region would become a dumping ground for the cheap Chinese products. The truth, on the other hand is that, it would open the markets of Laos and Vietnam for the Indian traders along with the markets of other South East Asian countries,� Hazarika said.

�The need of the hour is to build strong public opinion and clear the misconceptions related to the re-opening of Stilwell Road from the minds of people at the helm of affairs in Centre,� added Hazarika, who participated in a seminar �A journey through the Stilwell Road� organised by Rabidranath Tagore Centre, ICCR, Kolkata and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, recently at Kolkata.

The AGP leader also mentioned that Union Government�s plea that opening of the road would pose a security threat for the country was self-contradictory to its decision of improving transport connectivity with countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

�The Stilwell Road, connecting Ledo of Assam to the Unan province of China via Myanmar, is not just an engineering marvel, but a very potential trade route. A study by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) way back in 1995 estimated the value of informal trade with Myanmar via Moreh alone is worth Rs 2,000 crore. The same study pointed out that informal trade through Champhai in Mizoram is worth Rs 500 crore and Lungwa in Nagaland is worth Rs 100 crore,� he mentioned.

�Of late under the �Look East Policy� of Government of India, the country has come closer to our eastern neighbours and there have been positive initiatives in the area of bilateral co-operation. Opening of the Stilwell Road would strengthen the economic and social ties with the neighbouring countries,� added Hazarika.

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AGP for reopening of Stilwell Road

GUWAHATI, June 26 � Opposition Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) today reiterated the demand for re-opening the historic Stilwell Road for better connectivity and speedy economic development of the Northeast region. Party vice president Pradip Hazarika urged the people of the region to unite and become vociferous in support of this demand.

Addressing the media today, Hazarika said that re-opening of the road would not just ensure accelerated economic development of the Northeast India, it would also expand the trade opportunities with Southeast Asian countries and China and would have significant tourism opportunities.

�A section of traders doing business in the Northeastern market have a psychological blockade that opening of the Stilwell Road would spoil their business in Northeast, as the region would become a dumping ground for the cheap Chinese products. The truth, on the other hand is that, it would open the markets of Laos and Vietnam for the Indian traders along with the markets of other South East Asian countries,� Hazarika said.

�The need of the hour is to build strong public opinion and clear the misconceptions related to the re-opening of Stilwell Road from the minds of people at the helm of affairs in Centre,� added Hazarika, who participated in a seminar �A journey through the Stilwell Road� organised by Rabidranath Tagore Centre, ICCR, Kolkata and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies, recently at Kolkata.

The AGP leader also mentioned that Union Government�s plea that opening of the road would pose a security threat for the country was self-contradictory to its decision of improving transport connectivity with countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

�The Stilwell Road, connecting Ledo of Assam to the Unan province of China via Myanmar, is not just an engineering marvel, but a very potential trade route. A study by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) way back in 1995 estimated the value of informal trade with Myanmar via Moreh alone is worth Rs 2,000 crore. The same study pointed out that informal trade through Champhai in Mizoram is worth Rs 500 crore and Lungwa in Nagaland is worth Rs 100 crore,� he mentioned.

�Of late under the �Look East Policy� of Government of India, the country has come closer to our eastern neighbours and there have been positive initiatives in the area of bilateral co-operation. Opening of the Stilwell Road would strengthen the economic and social ties with the neighbouring countries,� added Hazarika.