Veteran journalist and author B G Verghese,speaking after receiving the 10th UN Brahma Memorial Soldier of Humanity Award here Sunday,said that the North-Eastern Council and the Ministry for Development of North-eastern region (DoNER) are poorly conceived and structured bodies. He added that the bodies,along with the state governments,lack the imagination or capacity to deliver the goods or manage the Northeast-Look interface.
The UN Brahma award,given in memory of Upendra Natha Brahma,who had led the movement for a separate Bodo state,was handed over to Verghese by outgoing Meghalaya governor R S Mooshahary at a function here.
Verghese,considered an expert on issues relating to the Northeast,also said that the political and social turbulence in certain parts of the region had restricted growth and inhibited optimal exploitation of the regions natural resources and tourism potential.
The Guwahati international airport and the Moreh-Tamu-Kalewa Road are outstanding examples of expensively planned failures for which the Centre must bear the prime responsibility. The ambitious multi-modal Kaladan corridor project from Mizoram to Sitwe port in Myanmar may go the same way unless immediate steps are taken concurrently to plan operational requirements in concert with the multiple stakeholders that must be involved, Verghese said.
Verghese termed embankments meant for flood control in the Brahmaputra and its tributaries as engines of corruption and wondered what prevented the government to chalk out an effective flood management plan of action.
He also suggested that India engage with China in a joint survey of techno-economic and social feasibility of developing enormous power potential of the Tsangpo-Dihang U-bend from Tibet to Assam. Rather than needlessly worry about exaggerated reports of Chinese plans to divert the Brahmaputra northwards,the Northeast should press the Centre to invite Beijing for such a joint survey, Verghese said.