New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS): President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said the highest capital outlay of Rs 1.21 lakh crore has been provided for railway modernization with major emphasis on track development in the Northeast.
"For modernization of railways, the highest-ever capital outlay of Rs 1.21 lakh crore has been provided," Mukherjee told a joint session of Parliament.
The President said that by the end of the year, all meter gauge tracks in the north-eastern States would be converted to broad gauge.
"The railways have undertaken a major expansion in the region at a cost of around Rs 10,000 crore," the President said.
"Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have been put on the rail map, Agartala has been connected with broad gauge line."
According to the President, the government under its "Act East" policy was focussing on reducing the isolation of the north-eastern States by improving connectivity through road, rail, air, telecom, power and waterways.
"My government sees the north-eastern States as the Ashtalakshmi that can take India to new heights. The Northeast is the gateway to Southeast Asia. We are opening up road and rail routes to our neighbouring countries to boost the economic development of the region."