GUWAHATI, May 26 - The North East region will become a focus area for South East Asian countries during the next five years with the Government headed by Narendra Modi laying stress on improving connectivity with the neighbouring countries, said Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. He also expressed confidence that Assam and other states of the region would continue to receive full support from the Central Government for timely completion of the mega projects.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, the Chief Minister said that in the five years of Modi Government, stress was given on improving connectivity, which is vital for the development of the North East region and expressed confidence that same level of cooperation would be extended by the BJP led National Democratic Alliance Government in the next five years to ensure economic growth of the region. He said that active Implementation of the Act East Policy would bring in much needed infrastructure development in the North East.
Sonowal revealed that direct flights to Dhaka and Bangkok from Guwahati would start soon, while, the Rupsi airport would be reopened shortly to improve connectivity to lower Assam. He pointed out that cargo flights to different countries have already started operations from Guwahati, which provided a global market to the farmers of the State. �The farmers of Assam never imagined that they would be able to export their products to different countries, but that has become possible because of the initiatives of the Prime Minister,� he added.
The Chief Minister pointed out that new bridges over the river Brahmaputra including a six lane bridge in Guwahati, an 18 kilometer long bridge connecting Dhubri with Phulbari etc are coming up and hoped that those bridges would be completed within the next five year tenure of the NDA Government. He also hoped that the setting up of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) would also be completed within the next five years.
Sonowal revealed that the Government of Assam has decided to dedicate one year from now as �year of implementation of schemes� and efforts would be made to complete all the new projects launched recently within the year. He hoped that with the support of the Central Government, the dream of completing the projects within the specific time frame would become a reality.
Sonowal said that apart from the road and bridge projects, Assam and other parts of the region received a number of major Central schemes in the last five years. He pointed out that the Centre has cleared laying of a gas pipeline from Barauni to Guwahati, crude pipeline from Paradeep to Numaligarh refinery etc. The Government has also cleared expansion of the capacity of Numaligarh refinery, which was set up as a part of the Assam Accord.
The Chief Minister said that the tough stand adopted by the Central Government under Modi against militancy was of immense help in improving the overall law and order situation in the State and because of improvement of the situation, the pace of implementation of development projects could be expedited. Replying to a question on the alleged failure of the Government to check infiltration of foreigners, Sonowal said that the process of sealing the international border with Bangladesh would be completed soon as the Government of India has already imported best available technology to seal the riverine border, which was considered most vulnerable.
Sonowal also expressed the hope that under the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, India would turn into a global super power in the days to come. He said that the Prime Minister has adopted an inclusive policy for the development of all sections of people and so far 22 crore poor people of the country have been benefitted from various schemes launched by the NDA Government and the number would continue to grow in the coming days.