Sarkar rejects pvt participation in infrastructure
Agartala: The Central government and Planning Commission should not insist on private participation in developing infrastructure in the northeastern region, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said here on Saturday rejecting the plan panel's proposal in this regard.
"Private participation or BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) policy in developing infrastructure in the northeastern region would not be feasible in the region," Sarkar told reporters.
He said: "No private organisation would come forward to develop infrastructure in the northeastern region. They might be keen to invest after the infrastructure is ready."
Sarkar was reacting to the Central government and Planning Commission proposal to involve the private sector in developing infrastructure in the northeastern region.
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia in a meeting in New Delhi on Thursday with Sarkar had suggested private participation to accelerate the infrastructure development process in Northeast.
"The Central government in the NDC (National Development Council) meeting last year had also insisted about private sector's involvement in creation of infrastructure in the northeastern states. Most northeastern states had opposed this idea," he added.
Sarkar asked the Central government to strengthen the North Eastern Council (NEC), a regional planning body, to speed up development of the backward and industry starved region.
"The Planning Commission has agreed to consider forming an expert team to study the vital sectors that would help the Northeast development faster," he added.
The sectors proposed include power project, national highway development, expansion of telecommunication and transportation of goods between land-locked northeastern region and rest of the country and world via Bangladesh.
"Before partition of India in 1947, there were many waterways between northeastern states and then East Pakistan. These old waterways must be revived for the economic development and welfare of the people of the region."
He urged the Central government to resolve all pending issues, including Teesta river water sharing, with Bangladesh in the interest of the two neighbours and specially for benefit of the northeastern region.
"India must be more pro-active to settle outstanding issues with Bangladesh," said Sarkar, who was among the 129 foreign personalities and 47 Indians honoured by the Bangladesh government on Tuesday in Dhaka for helping the country during the 1971 Liberation War.