Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Central Government was working to link all state capitals in the North East and thereby improve connectivity of the “remote area” with the rest of the nation by 2024.
“North East is one region in the country, where connectivity is of much importance, without which it difficult to bring development in the region,” Shah made the remarks after inaugurating the inter-state bus terminal at Mawiong, near Shillong, which he described as an economic hub for the whole area.
The Union home minister stated that Shillong was the capital of erstwhile united Assam and that it was natural for it to be connected with other North Eastern States, even as he mentioned that when India celebrates its 75th year of independence next year, Meghalaya will be celebrating its 50th year of statehood.
The Home Minister stated that without proper connection, neither the security of the North East nor the region’s previous grandeur or economy can be strengthened.
Noting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has prioritised connectivity in the North East since the BJP came to power in 2014, Shah said, “It will be our endeavor to connect all the State capitals in the region through railways and airways and alongside road connectivity will also be strengthened and transportation facilitated”.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma stated in his address that the inter-state bus terminal, which was funded 90% by the North Eastern Council (NEC) and 10% by the state, will be “productive” for both Meghalaya and the North East collectively.
“In the future we need to accord importance to air and international connectivity as well,” he underscored.
Noticing that the North East had a 20 percent part of the country’s GDP prior to independence but today has just a 3 percent share, Sangma stated that this might be “restored to the same level” by boosting economic activity.
“I am sure with the completion of this project, it will be a great boon for the entire region, specially for the connectivity of buses, for the people as well as goods from different parts of the North East to our state,” the Chief Minister expressed optimism.