Patil promises increased connectivity in northeast

February 25th, 2008 - 3:27 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Monday said the government was committed to improving air connectivity in the northeast by upgrading 18 airports, with green field airports in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Addressing the joint session of parliament, Patil said the special accelerated roads development programme in the region (SARDP-NE) with a funding of Rs.430 billion had been formulated to construct, improve and widen roads in the region.

Better power supply, new universities and other academic institutions, highways, green field airports and accelerated industrialisation in the region are some of the areas the central government was focusing on.

“Improving connectivity, expanding infrastructure and generating employment have been the focus of my government’s initiatives in the northeastern region. The north-eastern council has been collaborating with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to upgrade 18 airports in the region,” she said.

“The green field airports will be built in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, while the North-Eastern Council has taken the initiative to establish a dedicated airline for the region,” Patil said in her address to MPs at the beginning of the budget session.

She said a trans-Arunachal Pradesh highway would be constructed across the length of the state, while a comprehensive plan for improving the availability of power in the region was in the making.

“Broadband and wireless connectivity is being further enhanced to improve communications networks. New initiatives in education include setting up new universities and other institutions of national importance.”

Regarding industrial development in the region, the president said industrialisation was being promoted through the North-East Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy (NEIIPP).

“The work on the Assam Gas Cracker Project, which will further contribute to the industrial development of the, has started,” she said.

The government was focussed on strengthening All India Radio and Doordarshan, the government owned media networks, in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast.

“FM radio channels have seen a huge expansion with 152 channels already operating and expected to grow to 266 soon,” Patil pointed out.

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