Rs 28,000 cr for new rail projects in N-E

Our goal is 24x7, 365 days power supply for north-eastern states, says prime minister

Rs 28,000 cr for new rail projects in N-E

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday promised to provide Rs 28,000 crore for laying new railway lines and announced sanctioning of Rs 5,000 crore for 2G mobile coverage as a development package for the North-East.

Later, Modi wrapped up his three-day visit to the region. Modi also dedicated to the country a Rs 10,000-crore 750MW Palatana power project, an ONGC-Tripura government joint venture considered the biggest power plant in the region.

On the last day of his three-day visit to the region, the prime minister said in Kohima that the Centre had earmarked Rs 53,000 crore in the budget for the development of the North-East and would focus on developing the “untapped” tourism potential of the region.

“So many tourists are coming here from other parts of the country and abroad. This is the best destination for tourists. But for that, we require connectivity. Unless we have road connectivity, rail connectivity, air connectivity, it is very difficult to develop tourism,” Modi said.

“For the development of this area and for the development of tourism, Rs 28,000 crore will be provided for a new railway line project and 14 new railway lines,” he said while inaugurating Nagaland’s biggest annual Hornbill festival in Kohima.

The prime minister also said the Centre had a comprehensive telecom development plan for the region. In a lighter vein, Modi said as other places of the country have special economic zones, which are man-made, the North-East has natural economic zone.

“I believe that the Hornbill Festival will improve the tourism sector in Nagaland and the people of India will be the beneficiary,” he said.

As energy is a lifeline for development, Rs 5000 crore has been sanctioned for the North-Eastern region power system improvement project for six states, including Nagaland.

“Our goal is 24X7, 365 days power supply and to achieve that we are focusing on the North-Eastern states.

“The meaning of infrastructure has totally changed nowadays. Besides road and rail connectivity, we require digital connectivity. Internet connectivity is most required. Now the youth cannot stay without mobile phones, without internet,” he said.

The government has also decided to set up a national sports university in Manipur and six new agriculture colleges in the region. “The North-East states could be the capital of organic agriculture in the country,” he said.

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