Thursday, November 23, 2017

Air connectivity boost for North East on cards as India looks east

 Dimapur: Announcement of a massive augmentation of air connectivity in the northeastern region set the tone for the first North East Development Summit which was inaugurated by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind in Imphal on Tuesday. Addressing potential investors and sending across a reassuring message to the northeastern states, Ram Nath Kovind harped on the region, and particularly Manipur, being the “gateway to India linking with the Indian subcontinent and the ASEAN (countries)”, and listed out the initiatives taken by the Centre to improve connectivity by modes of road, railway and air.
The two-day summit seeks to boost trade and investment and is being attended by national and foreign investors and international finance agencies. The Manipur government has reportedly signed 39 Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs), worth INR 3500-4000 crore with different firms/companies.
Manipur is a strategic point to connect the North East with Southeast Asian markets. Moreover improved connectivity of the northeastern states can end the region’s geopolitical isolation, boost social and economic mobility and market integration.
“The Government of India’s approach to the development of the Northeast is an urgent and speedy enhancement of connectivity. This is a multi-modal programme, across land, water and air,” the president said.
19 “new airports or underserved airports”, including More in Manipur, Rupsi in Assam, and Tura in Meghalaya will be added to the country’s civil aviation network. Further 17 new heliports will be opened in the region. Imphal will get a direct flight service to New Delhi from the first day of the coming year. Union civil aviation minister Jayant Sinha, making the announcement at the Summit said the flight will be operated by Air India twice a week and it would gradually be converted into a daily service.
23/11/17 Kallol Dey/Indian Express