Infrastructure development for better connectivity in North East

Infrastructure development for better connectivity in North East

According to the External Affairs Minister recently, better connectivity in the northeastern states will strengthen India’s relations with neighboring countries.

The External Affairs Minister said that greater land and sea connectivity between the North Eastern States and neighboring countries would have the following broad implications:

This will further strengthen India’s partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Japan.

This will prove to be effective for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

Importance of North Eastern States

  • Geo-strategic location: The states of Northeast India share borders with countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Nepal. This position makes them favorable for international trade.
  • Natural Resources: There are immense natural resources in this region. The Northeast region contributes 34% of the total water resources of the country. Northeast states are also the source of about 40% of India’s hydroelectric potential.
  • Access to Markets: Strategically have access to the traditional domestic market of Eastern India. It is also a convenient entry point to the Southeast Asian markets.
  • The Northeast region is at the heart of India’s “Neighborhood First” and “Act East”

Despite the above advantages, the Northeast region suffers from several problems, the major ones being:

  • Lack of adequate infrastructure facilities,
  • Lack of connectivity,
  • Lack of private investment,
  • Low capital formation,
  • Geographical isolation etc.

Initiatives taken to improve regional connectivity

  • India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) Trilateral Highway: It will connect Moreh in India with Mai Sot in Thailand.
  • Kaladan Multimodal Project: It will connect Sittwe in Rakhine province of Myanmar with Kolkata sea port.
  • Bangladesh-Bhutan-India Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicle Agreement.

Source – The Hindu

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