Meghalaya CM proposes highway projects at NEC plenary meet

Meghalaya CM proposes highway projects at NEC plenary meet

SHILLONG | Sept 08, 2019:

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma has proposed two highway projects — 8-laning of Guwahati-Shillong- Dawki-Sylhet-Chitagong Highway and the second one being Silchar – Mahendraganj – Hili road which also includes a bridge across the river Brahmaputra.

Conrad made this proposal during the two-day 68th Plenary Meeting of North Eastern Council held in Guwahati.

Stating that these two projects could be game-changers for the entire region in terms of economic development, the Meghalaya Chief Minister said, "The 8-laning project involves upgradation of the existing roads and will enable transportation and export of materials and minerals from the Northeastern States to the south East Asian countries through Chittagong".

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"It will have a transformative impact on the region's economy," he added.

Talking about the second project, Sangma said, "The second critical project is the Silchar – Mahendraganj – Hili road which also includes a bridge across the river Brahmaputra".

"This road will dramatically reduce the travel time between North Eastern States and the rest of the country, lower the landing costs of materials and make the products, especially the high value perishable agri-horticulture, of the North East competitive in the rest of the country," he added.

Stating that these two iconic projects will, to some extent, ease the challenges faced by the region, Sangma said, "Taking up of these bold, large-scale projects which are both strategically and economically important for the country is only possible under the leadership of our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and our Home Minister Shri Amit Shah".

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Meanwhile, highlighting the issues specific to Meghalaya, Sangma said that the State has many advantages, primary among which are the bountiful water and forest resources and the large agro-biodiversity of Meghalaya can help promote agri-horticulture and livestock based economic development. He further said that tourism and hospitality sectors are key to the growth of the state.

Pointing out that the road density of the state is on the lower side of the spectrum, Sangma said, "Owing to all these challenges, the State remains underdeveloped and is today one of the poorer states in the country".

"The State's per capita income for 2017-18 is ₹87,500 against the National per capita income of ₹1,14,958," he added.

Stating that the state government wants to transform Meghalaya into an economically developed, sustainability-focussed middle income state by 2030, Sangma said, "To achieve this goal, large investments are needed in the various sectors of the economy and we are particularly focussing on primary sector rejuvenation, human capital development, infrastructure expansion and entrepreneurship promotion".

The 68th Plenary Meeting of North Eastern Council is being attended by Union Home Minister and Chairman, NEC, Amit Shah; Union Minister of State, Ministry of DoNER and Vice Chairman, NEC, Dr. Jitendra Singh; Governors and Chief Ministers of Northeastern Sister States, Distinguished Members of the North Eastern Council and Officials from the Government of India, N.E.C. and State Governments.