CM stresses on surface connectivity in NEC meet in New Delhi


IMPHAL, Oct 3: The 59th statutory meeting of the North Eastern Council, NEC, the regional planning body for the North Eastern Region, was held on September 28 at the Parliament House Annexe, New Delhi, chaired by Union minister DoNER and chairman, NEC, B.K.Handique, a press release said.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister of Manipur, Okram Ibobi Singh, who also participated, emphasized on the need for better surface connectivity, stating that village to village connectivity needs to be developed further.
He stressed on the need for better public telephones and expediting construction of rail lines from Jiribam to Imphal, the release said.
He also stressed on developing surface transport and communication to make them less prone to closures on account o landslides and other natural catastrophes, it said.
The release said the meeting was attended by the Governors, chief ministers and senior officials of the NE states.
Handique in his address touched on various issues including the achievements made by the NEC since the last meeting held in all the sectors of NEC and in particular the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Nagaland and the NEC for setting up of the Paramedical institute.
He also reiterated that in tandem with the expectations of the members, NEC would take a more proactive role in the development of the region by promoting capacity building in emerging opportunities, the release said.
It said Handique stated that the overall health infrastructure available in the North East at the tertiary, secondary and primary levels has a lot to be desired still and said the NEC would be focusing on this area.
Handique also said the NEC is in touch with Assam Rifles to facilitate admission of violence affected and poor students of all the eight NE states in the Assam Rifles Public School.
The minister said in order to further the process of Look East policy, his ministry is working out a partnership and towards this ASEAN ambassadors were taken to Manipur to incorporate a youth exchange program between the NE youth with neighbouring ASEAN countries.
Further, to give impetus to the sports talent of the region, a football tournament was also started by the NEC, which will be held in all the NE states, the release said.
With regards to transport and communication, the release informed that the railway line connecting Agartala with Bengal will be constructed via Akhaura in Bangladesh.
The minister of Water Resources, Assam, Prithibi Mahji assured that the issues of exemption tax for telecommunication equipment and delay in releasing the goods will looked into.
He also stated that setting up of a North Eastern Cultural Forum in Dwarka is in progress.
Presentations were also made on Telecommunications, Railway connectivity, Inland Water by Ministry concerned were deliberated upon, the release said.
The Action Taken on 58th Council was presented and the Annual Plan 2010-2011 along with new NEC guidelines approved for implementations, it added.

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