Foundation for Dawki ICP laid
SHILLONG: Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said on Tuesday the northeastern region is a priority area for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Addressing the audience at the foundation stone laying ceremony for the Integrated Check Post at Dawki on Tuesday, Rijiju said, “The North East with 98% of its boundaries with foreign countries can no longer be a frontier of isolation. Wherever we are we have to make the areas prosperous. It is sad the economic development of the region has remained slow. We need to look for the reasons for this slow pace of development.”
Referring to the armed outfits in the region, the Union Minister said the North East has to be peaceful in order to develop.
“By taking up arms as a sign of protest we are doing a great disservice to ourselves. We have democratic means to fight on issues and need not take the path of violence,” he said.
Stating that he is committed to helping the region, Rijiju said, “I will take charge of every scheme pending in Delhi if the state governments work in tandem with me. The road to Dawki and the one leading to the ICP are dilapidated. I assure you I will take up the matter with the State Government and the NHAI and the roads and mobile connectivity will be improved.”
Stress on time and quality
The Minister stressed on time and quality and insisted that there should not be any compromise on these.
“I call upon the Home Minister of Meghalaya, who is present here, to ensure that there is no disturbance to the completion of the project. Let Dawki be the example for other ICPs in the country,” he said.
The 92.34 crore ICP project is expected to be complete by August 2018. Rijiju added that the ICP at Moreh is expected to be inaugurated soon and it would change the entire landscape of development in Manipur and beyond.
‘Seamless’ Indo-Bangla ties needed
The Union Minister said that the present regime in Bangladesh is suitable for India and there should be seamless coordination between the two countries to make the land port a success, adds our reporter. “On the part of the Land Port Authority we can set up ICP, land port but it cannot be made possible without the cooperation of Bangladesh,” he added.
Lauding Modi for improving India’s ties with Bangladesh, Rijiju said the successive governments post 1947 did not give the much-needed support to better relations. “Kaam to kiya hai (they did their work)… but after 2014 under the leadership of Narendra Modi all ministers and officers were instructed that the North East should be the priority of every Ministry.”
Y. S. Shahrawat, Chairman, Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI), Ministry of Home Affairs said, “Dawki is the most important crossing point hence we are developing the ICP. The ICP will be spread over an area of 22 acres which was given by the government of Meghalaya and the land owners parted with the land for the development of the region.”
ICP to generate employment opportunities
Informing that the ICP is the first in the State, Shahrawat said that it will generate employment opportunities and wealth. It will facilitate the movement of cargo and passengers between India and Bangladesh promoting trade and tourism in the region.
Sanjeevani Kutty, Secretary, Border Management (MHA), said the present land custom stations have been a major impediment for border trade and the ICP has been brought in to address these issues. “ICP Dawki is expected to be developed as a model complex,” she added.
The Minister appreciated Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and Home Minister HDR Lyngdoh for their coordination and asked state and central forces to work in tandem.
Shillong MP Vincent Pala urged the stakeholders to be generous to allow the port to function from the day of construction up to the day of commission to function smoothly.
“We have seen that in Meghalaya, we want an airport, we have a problem, we want railways, and we have a problem and the same with roads. I hope the land port will not have a problem,” he said.