Kolkata, Feb 8 (IANS) The central government needs to take responsibility for developing northeast India as it involves huge investment which the seven states in the region cannot afford, Chief Minister of Mizoram Lal Thanhawla said here Saturday.
“Institutional finance is a grave concern in the entire northeast region and development of infrastructure is costly. The centre needs to develop the region,” the Mizoram chief minister said at an event organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries.
He added that the tourist flow into the northeast is one of the lowest in the country as the region lacks good infrastructure, on the other hand due to lack of tourists, the area is not getting enough funds.
“This is resulting into a vicious cycle from which we need to come out and the centre now needs to actuate the act east policy,” he said.
Thanhawla complained that “enough was not made for the region” under the policy.
“The states with the given economic condition cannot build infrastructure to speed up development…and central funds are needed,” he said.
Explaining the high level of cost of construction in his state, he said, “To construct a football field in a plain area like in Rajashtan, one has to just clear the area and then level it. But to build a volleyball court in Mizoram, at least Rs.1 crore is needed.”
He said only 11 percent of the total hydro power potential of the region has been leveraged so far and that there was a huge investment potential in such projects.
“More than 50,000 MW of power can be generated in the region. It is time for the central government to seriously ‘act east’, as the region has so many international borders,” he said.
The government of Mizoram is presently constructing a road-link to India’s international border with Myanmar, which is expected to boost trade and commerce in the state.