The governments in the north-east often receive flak for poor development of the tourism industry. However, according to an NCERT Geography Class 10 textbook, tourism has not been encouraged in the region and interior parts of the Himalayas for “strategic reasons.”

“There is vast potential of tourism development in the north-eastern States and the interior parts of Himalayas, but due to strategic reasons these have not been encouraged so far,” says a sentence on page 92 of Chapter 7 — whose theme is “Lifelines of National Economy” — of the book ‘Contemporary India Part II’ (January 2012).

On reading this, Kavya Barnadhya Hazarika of Maharishi Vidya Mandir Senior School here who passed the CBSE Class X board examinations this year, has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and twice petitioned the President’s Secretariat helpline since April first week but is yet to get an answer to his query what those “strategic reasons” are.

“I contacted officials at the Department of School Education and Literacy at Shastri Bhawan in New Delhi after my petition was transferred twice to the department by the President’s Secretariat, but I could not get any answer to my question,” Kavya told The Hindu.

In his first petition, lodged with the President’s Secretariat helpline (Registration No. PRSEC/E/2013/05723) on April 23, Kavya wrote that the first thing that struck him after reading the sentence was that the north-east could be a regional hub of tourism with Guwahati as a leading city by connecting the ASEAN countries and other countries of Asia to boost economic growth in the region.

“I would like to know what are those strategic reasons for which today the north-eastern part of our country still lags behind the national growth rate, for which we can see slow pace of development... I would like to mention to you that I have already written regarding this matter to Hon’ble Prime Minister of India through his web portal few weeks ago, but I am still awaiting his valued reply. I hope this time I would certainly get a good reason and a valued answer …,” Kavya wrote in his first petition. Not receiving any answer from the Department of School Education and Literacy, Kavya lodged his second petition (Registration No. PRESEC/E/2013/07130) on May 14.

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