Prime Minister Narendra Modi while addressing the centenary celebrations of the prominent voluntary organisation, Bharat Sevashram Sangha in Shillong through video conferencing said the government is trying to make the Northeast a gateway to Southeast Asia and has made huge investments for the same, reported news agency PTI. “We have to make the Northeast a gateway for Southeast Asia,” Modi said adding that this dream won’t be achieved if there is a lack of cleanliness.
“If such a beautiful gateway is unclean, diseased, illiterate or disbalanced, then it will fail to cross the gateway of the country’s development. There is no reason why, with all our resources, we should remain backward or poor,” the Prime Minister said while mentioning that he was disappointed to see that only Gangtok made it to the top 50 cleanest cities of the country in the recently conducted Swachh Survekshan 2017.
Watch the full speech here:
Interestingly, only four Northeastern cities found a place between 100 and 200 clean cities of India while 7 of them were positioned between 200 and 300. Shillong itself was placed on 276th spot highlighting the challenge region faces. PM Modi said there has not been balanced development in the entire Northeast even after so many years of Independence and the current government is trying is best to achieve it with all its resources. The Prime minister added that the focus is on to improve connectivity and develop the entire region for tourism purposes. “All these initiatives will help to make the Northeast the gateway of Southeast Asia,” he was quoted as saying by the agency.
PM Modi said an investment of Rs 40,000 crore is being made to improve the road infrastructure in the region while 19 big railway projects have also been started, as reported by the agency. “We are also improving the electricity situation in the Northeast and trying to bring even more tourists to the region,” Modi said. Appreciating the efforts of Bharat Sevashram Sangha which helps people in distress he said, “The Bharat Sevashram Sangha has been able to dispel this myth, through its work.”