Govt to make Northeast a gateway to Southeast Asia, says PM Modi

Shillong: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday said, a sum of Rs 40,000 crores will be invested for the development of roads and highways in the seven states of Northeast. The major infrastructure project will be aimed at making the seven sisters a gateway for Southeast Asia.

He stressed on cleanliness in the cities across the Northeast and said that only Gangtok was the one to have a place in first 50 clean cities when a nationwide survey was conducted. While four Northeastern cities found a place between 100 and 200 clean cities, seven were positioned between 200 and 300. He addressed Bharat Sevashram Sangha, in Shillong through video conferencing in its centenary celebration, reported DC.

“We have to make the Northeast a gateway for Southeast Asia,” Modi said. He asked the Sangha to join the cleanliness campaign in order to make Northeast a gateway to Southeast Asia.

He also said that the states have not been so far developed ever since the independence. He also added that the government will use all the resources to make Northeast more tourism oriented.

“We are also improving the electricity situation in the Northeast and trying to bring even more tourists to the region,” Modi said. He announced that small airports were being developed under UDAN scheme, and an extension to Shillong runway is also now approved.

Bharat Sevashram Sangha is a network of volunteers across the globe who help people in distress. Their activities include disaster relief, spreading education, providing healthcare facilities, vocational training and upliftment of the tribals. PM Modi also appreciated their efforts.

“Some people tried to tell that those who are on the spiritual path are different from those on the way of providing service to the humanity,” Modi said, adding that the Sangha has proved this wrong through its activities.

He appreciated the services rendered by the Sangha during various calamities, including the Bengal famine in 1923, Noakhali riots in 1946, Jalpaiguri floods in 1950, 1956 Anjar earthquake, Andhra Pradesh cyclone in 1977 and Bhopal gas leakage in 1980.