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NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday laid the foundation stone, inaugurated and dedicated multiple projects worth over Rs. 2,450 crores to the nation in Shillong and Meghalaya. 

 Addressing the occasion, the Prime Minister said that Meghalaya is a state that is prosperous in nature and culture and this very prosperity is reflected through the warmth and welcoming nature of the people. “The upcoming and newly inaugurated projects ranging from connectivity, education, skill and employment will further development in the state." 

He added that the government has worked to remove all obstacles that come in the way of the development of North East Region. “Be it corruption, discrimination, nepotism, violence or vote-bank politics to disrupt the development in the region, we are working with dedication and honesty to uproot all these evils. Even though such evils are deeply rooted, we have to work towards eliminating each one of them." 

PM Modi said that the central government is moving forward with a new approach for development of sports. “Its benefits can be clearly seen in the North Eastern regions as well. Apart from India’s first sports university, the North Eastern region is well equipped with multiple infrastructures like multipurpose hall, football field and athletics track." 

The Prime Minister added that development is not limited to budget, tenders, laying foundation stones and inaugurations. “The transformation that we witness today is a result of the change in our intentions, resolutions, priorities and our work culture. The results can be seen in our processes." 

“The resolution is to build a developed India with modern infrastructure, modern connectivity. The intention is to connect every region and section of India with the objective of rapid development through Sabka Prayas (everyone’s efforts). The priority is to remove deprivation, reduce distances, engage in capacity building, and give more opportunities to the youth. And the change in work culture signifies that every project and programme be completed within the time limit," he said. 

PM Modi added that the central government is spending 7 lakh crore only on infrastructure this year, while 8 years ago this expenditure was less than 2 lakh crore. “The infrastructural developments in the North East include the fast-paced work to connect all the capitals including Shillong with rail service and the increase in number of weekly flights from 900 before 2014 to 1900 today." 

The Prime Minister said that under the UDAN scheme, flights are on 16 routes in Meghalaya and the result is cheap airfares for the people of Meghalaya. “The fruits and vegetables grown here are easily accessible to the markets of the country and abroad through the Krishi Udaan scheme, benefitting the farmers." 

He added that five thousand crore rupees have been spent on the construction of the National Highway in Meghalaya in the last 8 years while the number of rural roads built in the last 8 years under the Pradhan Mantri Sadak Yojana in Meghalaya is seven times more than what was built in the previous 20 years. 

“Optical fibre coverage has increased 4 times in the Northeast and 5 times in Meghalaya when compared to 2014. Six thousand mobile towers are being erected to take mobile connectivity to every part of the region with an outlay of 5 thousand crores. This infrastructure will give new opportunities to the youth of Meghalaya. With IIM and the technology park education, earning opportunities will increase in the region," PM Modi said. 

The Prime Minister added that the PM-Divine scheme is going to give a new impetus to the development of North East by ensuring easy approval of big development projects. “A budget of 6,000 crore has been fixed for the next 3-4 years under PM-Divine." 

He said that social infrastructure like houses, water and electricity have massively benefited the Northeast. “In the past few years, 2 lakh new households received electricity connection. More than 70 thousand houses were approved for the poor and 3 lakh households got piped water connections. Our tribal families were the biggest beneficiaries of these schemes." 

Concluding his address, the PM Modi wished for continued pace of the region’s development. 

The multiple projects include the inauguration of 320 completed and 890 under construction 4G mobile towers, the new campus of IIM Shillong, at Umsawli, the Shillong – Diengpasoh Road which will provide better connectivity to new Shillong satellite township and four other roads projects across the three states viz. Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. 

The Prime Minister also inaugurated Spawn Laboratory at Mushroom Development Center and Integrated Beekeeping Development Centre in Meghalaya and 21 Hindi libraries in Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Assam. 

PM laid the foundation stone of six road projects across the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura. He also laid the foundation stone of the Integrated Hospitality and Convention Centre at Tura and Shillong Technology Park Phase -II. 

Earlier in the day, the Prime Minister attended the meeting of the North Eastern Council at the State Convention Centre in Shillong and participated in its golden jubilee celebrations.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Swati Luthra

Swati Luthra writes on climate change, water, environment and forest issues for Mint. A graduate in Psychology, Swati has been mapping India’s policy initiatives to help meet the pledges made at CoP-26 including achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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