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Reversing outflow of resources a challenge in Northeast: NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar

Niti Aayog vice-chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar added the time has come to launch Udaan-III which will aim to connect all the state capitals of the Northeast.

By: Express News Service | Agartala |
Updated: April 11, 2018 9:43:08 am
NITI Aayog bats for setting up independent debt management office Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

The biggest challenge in Northeast is to reverse the outflow of resources, including tourism, human and private investment, Niti Aayog vice-chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar observed at the first meeting of newly constituted NITI Forum for Northeast at Agartala on Tuesday.

Kumar added the time has come to launch Udaan-III which will aim to connect all the state capitals of the Northeast. “Focus of development projects in the NER (North East Region) will be based on the concept of ‘HIRA’ (Highways, Inland Waterways, Railways and Airways) as spelled out by Prime Minister Modi.”

He said emphasis will also be laid on education, health and skill development in the region. “This region is landlocked. We have to make sure that how this lock can be removed,” he said at the end of the session where 25 members out of 33 were present.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said there has been a significant 21 per cent rise in fund utilisation in the Northeast during the last three years. He said the central government has now committed 100 per cent funding for development projects in the NER, as against 90-10 ratio earlier with the state governments funding 10 per cent of the total cost.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio said Kohima is the only capital in the Northeast which does not have an airport. He said the state government has acquired land for this purpose and at least a small airstrip at Kohima should be constructed for providing air connectivity to Nagaland under the UDAN scheme. Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma said through infrastructure and connectivity, many development problems can be solved.

(The author was in Agartala on the invitation of NITI Aayog)

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