Union Home minister Amit Shah on October 9 identified three major hurdles in the path of development of the North East for decades – violence and unrest by extremist groups, lack of rail, road and air connectivity in the region and absence of thrust on development by previous governments.
Addressing the 70th plenary meeting of the North Eastern Council (NEC) at Assam Administrative Staff College here, Shah said that the development of the North East was never a priority for the previous governments. But, the present Union government has made many efforts in the last eight years to bring peace, increase connectivity and give priority to the development of this region.
Shah also said that the whole of India considers the languages, cultures, cuisine and costumes of the North East as its heritage and the Centre is making every effort to preserve and promote the natural identity of this region.
He said that in the last eight years, the government has made many efforts to solve all the problems of the region by finding its root cause.
Shah said that the central government believes that all-round development of the country is possible only by taking all the languages of the country together and a provision has been made in the new National Education Policy that primary education should be in the mother tongue.
Shah also said that the Indian economy is currently ranked fifth in the world and financial discipline by the Northeastern states is necessary to contribute to making it second in the world.
Highlighting the importance of natural farming and digital farming, Shah said that natural farming and digital farming are a matter of priority for the Union government and the process of forming a multi-state cooperative society by merging Amul and five other cooperatives for certification of natural products is also under way.
He said that after certification of these products, this cooperative society will also ensure their export so that the profit will go directly to the bank accounts of the farmers.
Shah said that more than 500 laboratories across the country will certify the quality of soil and natural products.
He also urged the chief ministers of the Northeastern states to make full use and benefit of NESAC (North Eastern Space Applications Centre) data for flood control, irrigation, tourism, afforestation and agriculture.
He said that the chief ministers of Northeastern states should appoint a nodal officer for NESAC in their states so that maximum and better use of this platform can be made.
He said that flood-free and drug-free North East is very important for the central government.
“The purpose of hydropower plants is not only to generate energy but they can also be used in flood prevention. Apart from this, the ideal use of 271 wetlands can also help in preventing floods,” he said.
He also urged to keep the Northeastern states free from the use of single-use plastic for environmental protection.
Union minister for Development of the Northeastern Region (DoNER) G Kishan Reddy and Union minister of state for DoNER BL Verma, governors, chief ministers and ministers of the Northeastern states and senior officers were also present in the meeting.