SHILLONG, Oct 19 - Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai today said the North East is getting on a par with the rest of the country in different spheres as there is a push by the Central Government to develop the region.
Rai was speaking during his maiden visit to the headquarters of the Directorate General of the Assam Rifles at Laitkor on the occasion of the annual Assam Rifles Commanders� Conference.
The minister said that the development of region has been the priority of the NDA Government and as a result, it has undergone a �revolutionary transformation in the last five years�. Due to this, the region is now competing with the rest of the country in sports, art and culture, infrastructure, production of essential commodities, education, industrial development and other sectors.
Stating that the region is blessed with abundant resources, Rai maintained that if this potential is properly harnessed, the region would be able to develop several industries in the near future. Underlining lack of adequate connectivity and infrastructure as bottlenecks in the development process, Rai said once these issues are addressed, the economy of the region would improve.
Rai also lauded the Assam Rifles for guarding the nation�s frontiers in one of the most �challenging and inhospitable terrains�. The Union minister added that the Assam Rifles is also helping fight insurgency in challenging situations.
Rai stated that the Assam Rifles plays a pivotal role in facilitating various government schemes in the region, leading to infrastructure development in far-flung border areas like Vijaynagar in Arunachal Pradesh and the remote areas of Nagaland and Manipur.
He said spreading awareness about government programmes like Swachh Bharat, Jal Shakti Abhiyan and Fit India Movement in the entire region has been another feature of the Assam Rifles. The Assam Rifles also provides skill development training to the youth, leading to employment opportunities under the Skill India Mission, the minister added.
Earlier, Rai was given a ceremonial guard of honour by a mixed contingent comprising male and female soldiers of the Assam Rifles.
He later paid homage to the martyrs of the force at the Laitkor War Memorial and also inaugurated the newly-constructed OPD wing of the Assam Rifles Multi Speciality Hospital at Laitkor.