GANGTOK: North East has a massive potential to become the trade link between India and South East Asia in years to come, said Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri here on Saturday.
Speaking at a symposium on ‘Urban Development in North Eastern States: Smart City Revolutions’ in the city, Puri reiterated the Modi government’s commitment to connecting the region through infrastructure and technology.
He further said that the North Eastern states have become India’s areas of high growth that can fuel India’s push towards an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.
Under the Modi-led government, more than 95 per cent of the Rs 18,849 crore budgeted have been fully utilised for development projects in the important sectors of power, water supply, health, connectivity, and education in the last eight years, the minister stated.
Expressing satisfaction on development of Gangtok, the urban affairs and housing minister said that the city could notably become the lighthouse for other cities in India.
He informed that in the Budget 2022, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a new scheme – Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North-East (PM-DevINE) to be implemented by the North East Council. The scheme will fund infrastructure guided by the PM Gati Shakti mission and social development projects based on the felt needs of the North East.
The South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) road connectivity programme will also help in making the region more connected and accessible to the rest of the country, he added.
“523 projects worth Rs 13,563 crore are in various stages of development in the 10 cities of the North East region. 121 projects worth Rs 1,553 crore have already been completed with another 268 projects worth Rs 8,507 crore under implementation. This impressive progress shows the scale of the infrastructure transformation under way in the urban areas of North Eastern India,” added Union Minister Puri.
He launched Online Building Permission System (OBPS) which is a transparent and effective reform mainly focused on improving service delivery with lesser human interface and more accountability for getting building plans passed. Sikkim is the first state in the region to have implemented the system.
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