Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Mizoram on Saturday, the first time since assuming power as prime minister in 2014. The purpose of the visit was to complete the 60 Mega-Watt Tuirial Hydropower Project.
“It is the first large hydropower project in Mizoram. It will boost the socio-economic development of the State,” the PM said at a gathering.
Hailing the first NDA government for its work in the northeast, PM Modi added, “During the tenure of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee significant work was done for the development of the Northeast. We have taken forward this vision and are devoting resources for the progress of the Northeast. There have been over 150 Ministerial visits. Our initiative – the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) at your doorstep has added impetus to the development of the Northeast. It has enabled us to understand the aspirations of the Northeast even better,” the PM added.
Adding that the project would provide eco-tourism and proper drinking water to the people of the state, PM Modi added that the vision of New India can be realized only if fruits of development reach all. Government plans to focus on around 115 districts which are relatively backward when evaluated on various indicators. This will benefit backward districts of North Eastern States including Mizoram. “Besides electricity the reservoir water will also open new avenues for navigation. This will provide connectivity to remote villages. The huge reservoir, spread over an area of 45 square kilometres can also be used for development of fisheries,” he said.
“It is said that the lack of connectivity is one of the biggest hurdles in the path of development of the North Eastern Region. My Government wants to do ‘Transformation by Transportation’ through investment in infrastructure to change the face of the North Eastern Region,” he added.
The prime minister also spoke on his other plans to develop the northeast region. “We are committed to bring all the State Capitals of North East Region on the Rail map. The Government of India is executing 15 New Rail Line projects of 1385 kilometers length, at a cost of over Rs.47,000 crore,” PM Modi said, adding the Union Government has been proactively following the ‘Act East Policy’. “As a gate-way to South East Asia, Mizoram stands to gain immensely from this. It can emerge as a key transit point for trade with Myanmar and Bangladesh,” he said.
PM Modi also spoke of the bamboo trade that have plagued some farmers. The Bamboo which is the livelihood for lakhs of people of North East, has been under a very restrictive regulatory regime. Because of this, you cannot transport or sell the Bamboo produced in your own field without the permit. Our Government with an aim to reduce this pain, has changed the regulatory regime and now there will be no requirement of any permit or permission for producing, transporting and selling Bamboo and its products produced by farmers in their own fields,” the PM said.