TODAY -
Aiyer came, left with happy tidings
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 22 2009: DoNER Minister Mani Shankar Aiyer who arrived at the State today laid the foundation stone of the Inter-State Bus Terminus at Deulaland and simultaneously announced that to promote trade and commerce between the States of the North East region and Bangladesh, he would be leading a team of all the Chief Ministers of the region to Dhaka next month.



DoNER Minister Mani Shankar Aiyer stepping down from an IAF chopper at Imphal


The ISBT is to be constructed at a cost of Rs 26.44 crores.

Aiyer along with three officials landed at Imphal in a chopper at 11 am today amid the high tension arising out of the gruesome killing of the SDO of Kasom Khullen along with his two staff and during the curfew relaxation period from 9 am to 2 pm today.

Spending a few hours in the State, the DoNER Minister not only laid the foundation stone of the ISBT but also proceeded to Chandel, Churachandpur and Tamenglong to oversee the projects taken up under the funds granted for backward regions.

Aiyer also reviewed the functioning of the Panchayati Raj system in the State.

Speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the ISBT at Deulaland, Aiyer said that the bus terminus which will have three storeys will have world class facilities and added that it will stand as a symbol of excellence of India and the North East.

The terminus will have the capacity to park 160 bus at a time which in turn will be increased to let 500 bus park at the same time, the terminus will have necessary facilities including Jatri Niwas, medical centre and ATM counters, said Aiyer and added that all the State capitals of the North East will be connected to each other with four lane highways and will also be linked with the expressways of other States of India.

The DoNER Minister further said that under the Look East policy, the all clear signal has been given to connect Moreh with Mandalay and process is on to extend the road network to Yangon.

Once this road link is finalised, then the ISBT at Deulaland will become a hub of activities, he added.

To develop the North East region, the DoNER Ministry has worked out the Vision 2020, said Aiyer and added that discussion is underway to investment Rs 14 lakh crores in three sectors in the region.

Admitting that investment in the region is low, the DoNER Minister said that out of the 10 pc investment made under the Industrial and Investment policy, the North East region receives only 0.5 pc. To attract foreign investment, business summits have already been held at Thailand and Vietnam, recalled Aiyer and added that plans are on to hold such a summit at Singapore too.

With the coming of a new Government at Bangladesh plans are on to promote trade and movement of people between the neighbouring country and the North East region, said Aiyer.

Towards this the DoNER Minister will lead a team of Chief Ministers of the North East States to Dhaka next month.

The Bangladesh Government will also be approached to make the Chittagong port the export route for the North East States, added Aiyer.

Despite the turmoil and violence, the growth rate of Manipur is higher than the National rate by 3/4 pc, claimed the Minister and added that preparations are on to invite Ambassadors from South East Asian countries to the North East.

A hostel exclusively for the North East students will be opened at Delhi University on February 24, he added.


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