NEW DELHI, Feb 14: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said here today that Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Northeast as many as over 30 times in less than five years, which is possibly more than the total number of visits to North Eastern region undertaken by all the past Prime Ministers put together.
Briefing the media after a meeting with a delegation of “All Manipur Dalit Development Association”, Dr Jitendra Singh said, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special focus on Northeast not only gave impetus to all the development projects in the region, but also ensured equitable development of every part of the region. This, he said, is in keeping with Prime Minister’s emphasis that a wholesome growth of India is possible only when even the peripheral States of North-Eastern region are unable to develop at par with the more developed States of the country.
In the last five years, Dr Jitendra Singh said, several of hte North Eastern States like Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya have initiated work on establishing a double-gauge rail network, even though till a few years ago, people there had never seen a train. Similarly, new airports have come up in States like Sikkim which were deprived of air connectivity for decades together, he added.
As far as Manipur is concerned, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Hill Area Development Programme (HADP) was first announced in Imphal, to be initiated on a pilot basis in the hilly districts of the State. The road blockades which were a common phenomena in the State, are no more seen in the last few years and there is a visible return of peace and end of violence, he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister was handed over a memorandum by President, All Manipur Dalit Development Association, T.M. Rajen Ayangba and his team. The Minister gave them a patient hearing and said that since most of the issues raised by them are dealt by the Ministries of Social Justice, Law and Home, he would therefore, forward the inputs provided by them in the form of memorandum to the concerned Ministries.