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  2. 2. 2 Sunrise States: Realizing the growth potential of North-East More than 96% Indians do not know names of North-East states and their respective capitals – remaining 4% people lives in North-East states. Source – Self Experience (if disagree, please name the capitals in one go) Less than2% of landmass of North-East Region(NER) shares the boundary with mainland India and more than 98% of the region’s boundary is international but contribution to national exports is less than 0.004%. NER is home to more than 30 odd rebel groups with demands ranging from secession to greater autonomy. More than 50,000 people have died in violence since 1947. Cherrapunji the wettest place on the Earth experiences drought like condition in winter months.1947 1980 2008 Per Capita Income (in %) National Average NER occupies 8% of geographical area but enjoys only 3.7% of railway network. Resource rich NER produces 5.4% of important fuel resource but has contribution of only 2.3% in GDP Forget about international cricket player, First Ranji NER team got official status in 2007. Total number of Central, State and State private universities in 8 states of NER is only 30. Per capita income of NER was 4.1% higher than national average at the time of independence and today it is about 45% less than national average. Despite NER is having abundant fruit and vegetable production, just because of lack of awareness, more than 60% women are anemic in the region NER stands more than 5% higher in literacy rates compared to national average but perform worse compared to other states in number of unemployment and BPL population
  3. 3. 3 Sunrise States: Realizing the growth potential of North-East o Territories being demanded by different groups in pursuit of their own ethnically homogeneous provinces – actually overlap with one another o Territorial issues among states are also unresolved o Current system is that there is a Dual authority owing the simultaneous existence of territorial councils and the Panchayati Raj structure o Urgent need for administrative systems that can help meet regional, developmental and identity aspirations Issues o Strengthening the autonomous, administrative divisions in NER established on the basis of the Sixth Schedule of the constitution o Sensitive handling of grievances over funding, and the protection that needs to be extended over issues of language, culture and land are essential o Powers and functions consistent with local customs, traditions and needs have to be conferred on Tribal autonomous systems. Motto will be to “Live Together” by making peace among themselves Solution Experience in Tripura over the past decade and more has shown that the implementation of appropriate autonomy packages could prove to be an effective salve, and aid to development. Implementation Territorial issues
  4. 4. ` o mainstay for bringing transformational changes in infrastructure of the region o imperative to have a GIS mapping of roads in this region for better access and monitoring o Improved technology for longevity of roads o Foot suspension bridge in abundance o Four laning of many routes should have been recommended and many sanctioned but additional two lane should constructed on other side of hill so that in case of landslides, the whole route does not get blocked/suspended. o The railway has now extensive know-how of tunnel and bridge construction with their experience of Konkan Railways and J&K projects. o New railway lines- one connecting Sittwe port in Myanmar to Arunachal Pradesh across Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland and another connecting Dhubri to Silchar via Meghalaya is considered essential to improve the transportation in NER. o A large paraphernalia already exists for inland water transport in the river Brahmaputra o Inland water transport should be utilised for movement of over dimensional consignments to avoid congestion on roads especially in the Chicken’s Neck are of the corridor between North Bengal area and Assam o As proposed in Union Budget, Barak River should be utilised for inland water transport in the North Eastern Region o There is a vast network of airports in the region due to the war effort during World War II but many of them are lying dormant. These airports should be made operative within a time frame to provide better connectivity to men and cargo. o Holds the key in not only linking the region to rest of the India but also catalyzing trade and commerce with the neighboring countries. o development of meteorological forecasting network in the region to make civil aviation predictable and safe o it would be possible to provide connectivity for horticulture/floriculture/aquaculture common in the region. Roadways Railways Civil Aviation Inland Waterway
  5. 5. Dhubri Badarpur Kolkata Transit through Bangladesh Multimodal hub network Intra-regional Inter-regional Trans-Border access Dimension of Physical Connectivity Implementation Considering the spread of the geography and demography of the region we will develop multi-modal hubs at two stations Dhubri and Badarpur, to facilitate smooth transportation in the region in times of calamity as well as insurgence. At both the stations, it is possible to have connectivity from rail, road, inland water transport as well as civil aviation. This multimodal hubs can be later on given to private players for operation or may be run by a corporation developed for this specific requirement. a long time treaty with Bangladesh Government to provide access from West Bengal through Assam to their river system. This can be possible if the Indo- Bangladesh Protocol on Inland Water Transit & Trade is extended for at least 10 years at a time to attract investment Infusion of PPP in inland water transport. Training institutes for skill building among local population for good maintenance of old and new roads and aircrafts Some of the smaller states have only one National Highway and inadequate railway connectivity. Transport plan have to provide the alternate connectivity so that if the existing route is blocked due to natural disaster, other options are available
  6. 6. Strategy Social and Cultural integration “Tourism” Connectivity not only looks at physical connectivity but institutional as well as people-to- people connectivity. Physical infrastructure is not limited to transportation infrastructure but also explores energy and communication technology. Other issues like process and systems integration, including customs simplification and harmonization of standards to name a few, are also an important focus. Tourism and ways to facilitate its flow come under the parameters of people to-people connectivity. Tourism is not an industry just to earn revenue for the Government but a way of promoting national integration. It helps people understand each other and creates a feeling of oneness Initiatives like “Tourism Year”, Celebrity tourist ambassador, package deals during cultural festivals, inviting movie makers to shoot movies in NER, short films by state transport department, etc. will help to boost the people to people contact in NER Tourism is booming in Asia Pacific region, it provides significant appeal for NER to integrate into the Tourism Landscape of the region and thereby reap the benefits. There exists the potential out of the strong historical, cultural and ethnic links between communities in the NER and those of in the South East Asia, has not been harnessed. Tourist attraction like Buddhism, Buddhist art, World War II memorials, unique lifestyle attraction such as tea gardens, rhino safari, tiger safari, adventure sports should be highlighted. Create backward and forward linkages and in the short-term, market the region from the tourism angle while exploring the option of integrating with neighboring countries like Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Bhutan in the long-term. Given the rise of Asia, opportunities within the region abound and there needs to be some urgency in seizing the opportunity.
  7. 7. Fruit processing • Puree processing • Clear juice processing • Jam production • Candying production Vegetable processing • Drying plant • Portion products plant • Chips production Regional and Economic self-sufficiency 1. Biodiversity 2. Fruits 3. Timber 4. Coal 5. Oil 6. natural beauty o Low income and high share of basic foods in households consumption o Socio-cultural factor-preference for freshly plucked fruits o Low productivity, high wastage o Inadequate infrastructure for sorting/grading/packing o Lack of trained manpower for processing, storage, marketing, branding o Put in place a model supply chain by bringing all the stake holders- farmers, traders, processors, extensions machinery, R & D institutes, together on one platform which in turn will attract investors o Put food processing industries in the list of priority sectors for bank lending – implying easier availability of credit o Progressively reduce Customs duty and excise duty on machinery and other inputs o External Commercial Borrowing for Cold Storage plants o Abolish fringe benefit tax on food processing initiatives Stock of resources Constraints observed in Food industry Solution
  8. 8. 8 Sunrise States: Realizing the growth potential of North-East Ideally speaking we have a solution of tribal problems in terms of Panchsheel given by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru which put stress of path between the complete “isolationism ” approach and complete “interventionism” approach. We will reiterate that here. 1. develop along the line of their own genius and we should avoid imposing anything on them 2. Tribal rights to land and forest should be respected. 3. try to train and build up a team of their own people to do the work of administration and development. 4. should not over administer these areas or overwhelm them with a multiplicity of schemes. 5. judge results, not by statistics or the amount of money spent, but by the quality of human character that is evolved. o Videos, pamphlets, SMS in local languages should be spread on the mission mode. o Involve all the stakeholders – Panchayati Raj Institute, School teachers, local administrators o Form teams of 4-5 people with battery powered projector and send them across the districts to show the health awareness related films o Arrange a District level “Health Awareness Day/Week” when under one roof all the programmes will be held Tribal Development But we failed in implementing these guidelines miserably due to lust for unbridled greed. Unlike other tribal communities in India, the NER tribal are literate. Yet lack of awareness programs and divisive factors in the region have not allowed the population to grow. Heath and education awareness should be spread on the mission mode like the District Magistrate of Tripura Ms. Saumya Gupta who implemented the initiative “Village Health and Nutrition Day in Complete Convergence Mode” and was successful in bringing all the stakeholder on the one platform to improve the health awareness of the tribal people by executing whole program in their local language. She even got a PM’s award on Civil Servant’s day for her successful execution of initiative. Strategy
  9. 9. 9 Sunrise States: Realizing the growth potential of North-East Disaster management in NER Types of Disasters o Floods – a yearly affair o Earthquake – Zone 5 o Landslides o Cyclonic storms o Drought like situation in winter months Issues o Lack of water harvesting o Rain water run off o Water level rises above ground level in case of water logging, which is developing into a regular episode in case of the North-east. This contaminates the water with harmful bacteria, which may in turn pollute the groundwater. o Deforestation escalates after effects o Following guideline of National Disaster Management Authority, which is must for all the regions o Two types of intervention : Engineering and Non-engineering o In France and Sweden, etc., another device of reinforced earth was originally o designed by French engineer Henri Videl. Earth mass with possibility of slide was reinforced by steel rods by Henri Videl. These rods can be replaced by bamboo in the North-east and it is worth trying. o Anti-bacterial treatment for contamination of water o The Retrofitting Clinic: extra fittings to lifeline structures which will in mitigating disasters o Rain water harvesting at all scale – from household to community level to district and state level Implementation
  10. 10. 10 Sunrise States: Realizing the growth potential of North-East Conclusion North-East India – “Seven Sister + One Brother”, is envisioned as gateway to East Asia but some also view it as the boundary to ASEAN. Sun rise states which have not enjoy the developmental fruits in spite abundance of resources. Diversity of region – one of the uniting factor of our nation, has created road block for economic, social and political growth of the region. Special status, autonomous council, AFSPA, etc. are the instruments which governments have used but still devoid of solving the crisis. On legislation front we have adopted the “Decentralization” as means to govern the country at large but failed to effectively implement as per the Constitution Amendments. We need to think globally but should act locally to fulfill the Vision 2020 dream for the North-East India. Development of NER is not an regional issue today, it is India’s one of the top most “National Interest”. As backwardness of this region has repercussion in whole of the country in term of increasing load in mainland cities, illegal immigration from neighboring countries, exploitation of North-Eastern women is well known fact today. Any other regional issue should not create a hindrance to this larger national interest, as done by West Bengal during India-Bangladesh treaty. Rather than using the North-East states to achieve the political aspirations only ,Central Government should act to harmonize the condition in NER and utilize the economic benefits of NER to develop NER and even mainland India by effective use of NER potential – Cultural tourism, Adventure tourism, Biodiversity, Mineral resources, Food industry. If implemented all the plans, todays “Liability” to country has a potential to become one of the top-most “asset” to country. Thank you!!!
  11. 11. 11 Sunrise States: Realizing the growth potential of North-East References : [1] : [2] : [3] : [4] : [5] : DONER Final Report [6] : [7] : North East Summit 2013 [8] : Dspace - Human Development - North East India [9] : [10] : The Hindu - recalling AFSPA [11] : hindustantimes - No sense of belongingness [12] : The Hindu - Too many pices to this puzzle [13] : [14] : [15] : [16] : csd_proceedings_2012 [17] :