The Centre has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to deal with militancy in the North East region. Along with the counter-insurgency operations against the militants, efforts are on to expedite the pace of development so that employment opportunities can be created for the youths of the region to prevent them from joining the militant outfits.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to old The Assam Tribune that improving connectivity can help a great deal in improving the overall economic scenario in the North East, which, in turn, would provide job opportunities to the youths of the region. The Government is of the view that trying to deal with the problem of unemployment in the region by providing Government jobs to the youths is not an option as no Government would be able to do so and the best option is to go for overall development, which would also provide self employment opportunities.
Sources revealed that stress has been given on improving road, rail, water, air and digital connectivity in the region and mega projects in this regard are in various stages of implementation. In addition to that, stress has been given on skill development and make credit available for the youths to start their own business ventures. Instructions have also been to the concerned agencies to expedite laying of power lines in the region to make power available in the remote parts of the region.
The mega projects to connect all the district headquarters of the states of the region with two lane roads are in various stages of completion and once this is completed, road connectivity will get a major boost inside the region. Steps have also been initiated to construct new roads and widen the existing ones leading to the border with China. But the major stress is on connecting the region to the South East Asian countries as a part of the Act East Policy. To ensure success of the Act East Policy, steps have already been taken to improve relations with the neighbouring countries and India’s relation with Myanmar is now at its best both in economic cooperation and dealing with insurgency.
MHA sources said that the construction trilateral highway connecting India-Myanmar and Thailand is gaining ground and on its part, the Government of India is playing a major role in construction of the road inside Myanmar. The Government of India is also pumping in funds for construction of roads in Myanmar, which is required to improve the connectivity of the North East with the South Asian countries.
Sources pointed out that the Government of Bangladesh has already agreed on principle to allow India to use the Chittagong port but some formalities would have to be completed and there is need for improvement of the condition of the roads connecting the North East with the port. The Government of India is willing to provide financial assistance to Bangladesh, if required, to work on the roads, sources added. Sources further said that efforts are also on to revive the old rail heads connecting Chittagong port with the North East and when India starts using the port, waterways connectivity to the North east would get a major boost.
Source: The Assam Tribune