Tripura’s development graph soars

January 21st, 2009 - 2:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Agartala, Jan 21 (IANS) Thirtyeight years after it came into being as a young state, Tripura’s economy is finally blooming while terrorist attacks have almost stopped.The Left-led government says it has been able to take development measures to a new high. Tripura witnessed only one major terror attack in the past two years.

Alongwith Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya are also celebrating the occasion after getting the status of full fledged states on Jan 21, 1972.

From agriculture to education and infrastructure, Tripura has seen massive transformation in nearly four decades, more so in recent years.

According to Finance Minister Badal Chowdhury, even a decade after the grant of statehood, Tripura’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) stood at Rs.28.60 billion, increasing to Rs.103.10 billion in 1990.

This further went up to Rs.527 billion in 2000. It is estimated to have touched 20 billion dollars (Rs.98 billion) in 2005-06 in current prices, the minister said.

“Per capita income stood at Rs.7,500 in 2005-06 as against Rs.1,307 in 1980-81. This macro-economic profile indicates the pace of socio-economic development of the state in the last three decades,” he added.

In the past two years, the state witnessed only one major terror attack - the serial blasts in Agartala Oct 1, 2008 in which over 100 people were injured.

The decline in militancy has led to a sustained economic growth.

“With militancy on the wane, the state is witnessing rapid industrialization in sectors like natural gas, forestry, rubber and horticulture,” Health and Agriculture Minister Tapan Chakraborty told IANS.

Tripura is the second largest rubber producer after Kerala, besides doing equally good in the energy sector.

The Oil and Natural Gas Corp’s maiden mega power venture with a capacity of 726 mw is likely to be commissioned by 2011. The Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) has launched an ambitious city pipe line gas project, besides a compressed natural gas (CNG) project.

The rate of literacy in the state has jumped to 81 percent from 22 percent in 1970-71.

“Child mortality rate came down to 32 as against the national average of 58 per thousand. The mortality rate of pregnant mother has also been reduced, even lower than the national average of 4.37,” said Chakraborty.

“We want to become self-reliant in foodgrain production with the adoption of a time bound perspective plan to attain self-sustenance in agriculture and allied sectors,” he added.

In 1972, this former princely state had 1,879 km of roads. Today it has a road network of 15,338 km, including 448 km of national highway.

There was only a 12-km railway line when Tripura became a state. Today, it has 153 km of railway line. Agartala is on the country’s rail map.

The Assam-Agartala national highway, the lifeline of the state, has extended up to the southern most border town of Sabroom, brightening hopes that Tripura will become the gateway to Southeast Asia — if Bangladesh agrees to allow India to use the Chittagong port.

“With New Delhi keen to push forward the Look East Policy and the advantageous position of having proximity to neighbouring Bangladesh and its Chittagong Port, Tripura is all set to reach out to the Southeast Asian economies,” said Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.

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