Economy

Projects worth ₹1,34,200 crore will boost rail, road, and air networks in Northeast India, says Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivers the valedictory address at Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence (NADI) 2022, Asian Confluence River Conclave, in Guwahati on May 29, 2022.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman delivers the valedictory address at Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence (NADI) 2022, Asian Confluence River Conclave, in Guwahati on May 29, 2022. | Photo Credit: Twitter/@nsitharamanoffc

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said the Centre is implementing various rail, road, and air connectivity projects worth ₹1,34,200 crore in the northeast.

Addressing the 'Natural Allies in Development and Interdependence' conclave here, she said the Union government had been pumping in huge money to develop a number of infrastructure projects throughout the region.

"We are carrying out 20 railway projects worth ₹74,000 crore for 2,011 km, which are spread across the northeast," Ms. Sitharaman said.

The Centre is also developing 4,000 km of roads in the region at a total cost of ₹58,000 crore, she added.

"There are 15 ongoing air connectivity projects in the northeast, costing around ₹2,200 crore," the Finance Minister said.

However, she did not mention the completion period for these projects.

Ms. Sitharaman said the number of ‘Indo-Bangladesh Protocol Routes’ had been increased to 10 from the existing eight.

"These Protocol Routes are reviewed every five years. There was a review in May 2022,” she said.

The Union Minister said the national waterways on the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Barak rivers were being developed.

She said India and Bangladesh have 50 riverine systems which can be leveraged for all types of transportation as the cost of travel through water is the least when compared to air, road and rail networks.

"The government is further developing the National Waterways (NW)-1 on the Ganges, NW-2 on the Brahmaputra, and NW-16 on Barak. In the last seven-eight years, we have attempted to provide better connectivity," Ms. Sitharaman said.

She said the entire area between Sadiya and Dhubri in Assam along the mighty Brahmaputra river was being developed for improved connectivity.

"We are building a multimodal hub on the Brahmaputra in Guwahati. This includes a ship repairing port at Pandu, four tourist jetties, and 11 floating terminals. All these will bring in wonderful connectivity," the Finance Minister said.

The Eastern Waterways Connectivity Transport Grid, once completed, will offer seamless connectivity not only between the northeast and rest of India but also in the sub-continent, she said.

"This will offer 5,000 km of navigable waterways. The Indian government together with the World Bank is offering big connectivity solutions by removing bottlenecks," Ms. Sitharaman said.

The Central government is also developing several projects focusing on power transmission and distribution, mobile networks, 4G, and broadband connectivity in the northeastern region, she said.


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Printable version | Jun 16, 2022 11:44:01 am | https://www.thehindu.com/business/Economy/centre-implementing-infra-projects-worth-134200-crore-in-northeast-says-nirmala-sitharaman/article65472945.ece