North-East India is generally considered one of the most challenging regions of the country to reach and govern. It has been witnessed many separatist movements among the tribal peoples. Earlier, States in north eastern part of the country were ignored while talking about development. Recently, trend has been changed and many infrastructure facilities are building up here. Central government has designated a Ministry for development of North Eastern Region.
There has been a significant increase in infrastructure investments by the Government of India in the North East since Narendra Modi came to power. Under SARDPNE (Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for the North-East), Rs 35,000 crore is proposed to be invested to develop the Trans-Arunachal Highway and for connecting all district headquarters by a two-lane highway (around 6,400 km).
New rail network will be created in addition to strengthening the existing rail network at a cost of Rs 57,000 crore. Investments are being made by the telecom, power, civil aviation and shipping ministries in order to improve the connectivity – air, road, rail and internet– of the region, internally as well as externally under the Act East policy of the Union Government.
North East Infrastructure Development – Highway Projects
Government of India has offered 11 National Highway projects to North East States. Projects will be carried out with the help of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited(NHIDCL) is looking at developing projects spread across Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Assam and Nagaland.
The first phase of the project is estimated to cost around Rs 5,000 crore for improving two highways (380 km of NH54 in Mizoram and 50 km of NH51 in Meghalaya) and an additional Rs 1,700 crore for activities including compensation for land acquisition. About 500 hectares is to be acquired for the first phase. The total length of road involved in the whole project is 1,200 km and is to be taken up over three phases.
A road construction initiative for rebuilding inter-state roads in the Northeast has been taken up by the government, Minister for Development of North Eastern Region. This North-East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS), would primarily focus on inter-state roads connecting one state with the other. Besides all these the Union government has announced Rs 10,000-crore road and bridges development projects for Nagaland.
New Railway Network in North East
On January 13, 2016 when a Broad Gauge trial train comprising of one locomotive and six compartments came into Agartala Railway Station the scenes were of pride and a fulfilment of long awaited dream of the state to be connected to the rest of the country.
The General Manager of NF Railway, H K Jaggi, held an informal discussion with Members of Parliament, whose parliamentary constituencies are served by the N. F. Railway. This was the first-ever such exercise done by the Railways before preparation of a Railway Budget.
So, many projects are expected during the budget session of the parliament to fulfil dreams of North-East people.