KARNATAKA

Sidhu stresses on good governance



Staff Reporter

`Except Sikkim, there is insurgency in all north-eastern States in varying degrees'

Bangalore: Good governance and curbing corruption was necessary for the development of the north-eastern States, S.S. Sidhu, Governor of Manipur, said here on Saturday.

Insurgency and violence had taken its toll on these States, which seem to be isolated from the rest of the country, but dialogue and massive investment by the Government and private sector is the best remedy for restoring normality in the region, he said.

Delivering a lecture on "Economic Development in the North-East States" at a programme organised by the Indian Institute of Public Administration, Mr. Sidhu said he had suggested to the Government to start a dedicated airline for the region to solve the problem of bad connectivity through road and rail and poor communication network.

"Insurgency cannot hold development hostage. Now, the primary goal is a self-reliant and self-generating economy in 15 years," he said.

Generation of employment, tourism development, horticulture, sericulture, bamboo cultivation, air connectivity and trade with countries such as Myanmar, Bhutan and China were some of the thrust areas identified for accelerated economic development in the north-eastern States.

Trade

He said that the Government was looking at trade with the above countries as a major possibility for growth in the region.

"Except Sikkim, there is insurgency in all north-eastern States in varying degrees, with Manipur having highest degree of violence and problems of inter-group clashes. There are some 25 underground groups in Manipur alone. There are 25 lakh unemployed youth in the north-eastern region of whom 60 per cent are educated. All this can be dealt with only through peace and development," Mr. Sidhu said.