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Northeast India to be made gateway of Southeast Asia: Modi

Northeast India to be made gateway of Southeast Asia: Modi

Palatana (Tripura): Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said the northeastern region of India would be made a gateway of Southeast Asia.

The prime minister referred to the four colours in the Indian flag, and four revolutions which he looked forward to, including the second green revolution for agriculture, which should include a push for organic farming in northeast India.

"White revolution for milk and animal husbandry, saffron revolution for energy development, including renewable energy development, and blue revolution for fisheries and marine development," he said.

"Four-cornered revolutions would take place in India and the northeast would lead in these tasks," Modi said after dedicating the second unit (363 MW) of the 726 MW power project in Palatana, 60 km south of Agartala.

"An economic corridor would be established using northeast India, Myanmar and the adjoining regions. Northeast India would be a gateway of Southeast Asia in future," Modi said.

"We want development through energy sector and northeast India's unemployment problems would be solved through this sector. Japan and Germany have also promised to help northeast India in various means."

The prime minister said the northeast "would not remain backward now".

"As the gateway to Asia, it had the potential to move forward in this century, which was being called the century of Asia. Towards this end, the government is keen on building modern infrastructure in the northeast, to unlock its potential."

Modi said the government has signed an agreement with Japan to open an economic corridor with Myanmar, which would boost employment in the region.

"I am thankful to Bangladesh for its help to India," he said, adding that if Bangladesh wants to purchase power from India, the country was ready to provide it.

Modi said India provided all help and support to Bangladesh during the 1971 Liberation War and added that India's support to Bangladesh would continue.

The prime minister urged all the chief ministers of the northeastern states to help one another for all-round and longlasting development of the region.

"Tourism has huge scope in the northeastern region that does not exist in other regions of India," he added.

"The Rs.10,000-crore Palatana power project is the biggest investment in the energy sector by the central government in the northeastern region. It is also an environment friendly project and through it, Tripura has found a place in the world in protection of the environment," Modi said.

He said this was perhaps the first time that a prime minister had the good fortune to spend three days among the people of the northeast.

Modi said his government was converting the "Look East policy" to "Act East policy".

The Bangladesh prime minister's energy affairs advisor Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, who was present on the occasion, said that with mutual cooperation, both India and Bangladesh would develop.

Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said Tripura has huge natural gas reserves that have remained untapped for the past 40 years.

"The power project, which was set up following a series of requests to the Centre, would resolve the power crisis of the northeastern states," he said.

"The Indian government can take up the matter with Bangladesh to improve connectivity between the rest of India and the northeast via Bangladesh for the development of both sides," Sarkar added.

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