NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajeev Kumar on Tuesday said that focus of development projects in the northeast region will be based on the concept of Highways, Inland Waterways, Railways and Airways (HIRA).
In the first meeting of the ‘NITI Forum for North East’ held here, Kumar said that emphasis will be made on education, health and skill development in the region. He added that horticulture, tourism, food processing, use of bamboo and ‘Made in North-East’ will be developed through five mission mode projects in a time-bound manner.
The meeting, organised by the NITI Aayog, Ministry of DoNER and the North Eastern Council (NEC), was co-chaired by the Vice-Chairman, NITI Aayog, Rajeev Kumar and the Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Jitendra Singh.
Chief Ministers from Tripura, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Deputy Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh participated in the day-long deliberations. Further, senior ministers, chief secretaries and senior officers of the central ministries and state governments were also present.
Nagaland CM Rio pointed out that Kohima should have at least one small air strip providing air connectivity to Nagaland under the Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik (UDAN) scheme. Kohima is the only state capital in the north-east which does not have an airport.
Meanwhile, Meghalaya CM Sangma said that economic challenges of the north-east can be met by removing the physical and economic barriers. Tripura CM Biplab Deb asserted that Tripura has immense potential in fisheries as the state has the world’s best climate suitable for aquaculture, but this has not been exploited.
The ‘NITI Forum for North East’ was constituted in February 2018 with an aim to ensure sustainable economic growth of the north eastern region of the country and periodically review the development status in the area.