Shillong: Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Jitendra Singh, on Wednesday said the northeast is a priority with the NDA Government and an essential component of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'India Vision'.
Addressing a press conference along with Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Singh said it is an irony that Shillong does not have direct air connectivity with Delhi in spite of the fact that it has been the most prominent destination in the northeast ever since British rule and was also the capital of the erstwhile state of Assam.
He assured Sangma that he would take up the issue with Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and try to upgrade the airport for more frequent and bigger flights.
Singh pointed out to the requirement for better road network in view of frequent landslides in the state. In this context, he referred to an exclusive Northeast Road Corporation which is being envisaged to address the peculiar condition of road construction in the region.
He said the government is aware of the loss of life caused due to inadequate widening of the road and frequent landslides, which sometimes also offer an opportunity for militant activities.
The Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region also said the concept paper for organic farming is already in circulation among the various ministries and added that an attempt would be to bring it before the Cabinet at the earliest.
"This will be an important part of 'Make in Northeast' mission under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' plan," he said.
Singh, who is presently on a three-day visit to Meghalaya, also inaugurated an exhibition titled "Saal Ek, Shuruaat Anek" here highlighting the achievements of Prime Minister Modi-led NDA Government in the last one year.
Singh said this is a true depiction of the government's vision for northeast and reiteration of the fact that this is one of the best times for northeast to grow and develop because it has the advantage of unlimited support and patronage from none other than the Prime Minister of India.
Addressing party workers here, Singh said it is the responsibility of each one of them to act as a messenger of the Prime Minister and travel to every nook and corner of the country in order to make people aware of a series of pro-poor and pro-farmer schemes launched by the present government.
He said certain schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana had not achieved expected targets in the beginning, but in the last two months these schemes have achieved almost 100 percent targets due to proactive participation of the karyakartas and with the help of bankers.
"Skill development programmes launched by the government will come as a big relief to the unemployed youth of northeast and the social security schemes relating to insurance and pension will not only improve the social and economic status of people in the peripheral state, but also give them a feeling of belonging to mainstream India," he said.
He told the party workers that they should take active participation in the 'DoNER at Doorstep' experiment launched by his ministry and try to offer inputs to the DoNER officers during their forthcoming Camp Secretariat for Meghalaya in Shillong.