NEW DELHI, Jan 13: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today inaugurated, the first of its kind, “Fusion feast” at Dilli Haat here, organized by the Ministry of DoNER to celebrate the festival of Bihu along with Lohri, Makar Sankranti and Pongal.
On the occasion, Dr Jitendra Singh also announced setting up of a multipurpose complex at Guwahati which will act as a resident office-cum-guest house for the Ministry and would be named as “DoNER House”. He said, he was making this announcement as a Bihu gift to the people of Northeast,even though a complex like this should have been conceived many years ago and therefore, the Ministry of DoNER under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is only trying to fast-track series of initiatives which have remained undone in the region. Simultaneously, he also announced the setting up in Guwahati, a Liaison Office of the North Eastern Council (NEC) Headquarters in Shillong which have existed since early 1970s.
While often it is said that Northeast should be brought closer to the rest of India, Dr Jitendra Singh said, he has always believed that it is the rest of India which needs to know Northeast better and learn from its exclusive attributes. He said, he was proud that during 2016, for the first time, an exclusive permanent stall of Northeast was set up in Dilli Haat and named “Purbashree Stall”. Similarly, a Northeast Bazar Mela was organized for 15 days by putting up 30 stalls in the centrally located Janpath market of the union capital.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that in the last two years, there have been number of visible transformational steps taken in the Northeast which include a rapid expansion of rail and road network. Citing examples, he said, for the first time in the 70 years’ history of independent India, Government has set up an exclusive region based road corporation called “Northeast Road Development Scheme”. Similarly, States like Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh have been brought on the rail map of India and soon there will be a train to Bangladesh from Tripura.
Dr Jitendra Singh also disclosed that air track at Shillong Airport will be extended further through funding by Ministry of DoNER while the Pakyong Airport in Sikkim will most likely become functional in 2017 itself. He said, he is already negotiating to set up a helicopter hub in Guwahati for connecting Chopper flights to hitherto unconnected destinations.
The Venture Fund for new startups in Northeast has also elicited positive response, said Dr Jitendra Singh.
Meanwhile, large number of people from Delhi and other parts of the country, and from all walks of life and age groups visited the Bihu celebrations organized by the DoNER Ministry at Dilli Haat.