In the last few months, especially after the confrontation in Ladakh, China has exponentially increased its activity in India’s Northeast. From building dams on the Brahmaputra to assisting the insurgents, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is doing everything in its capacity to destabilize the sensitive region, although without any success.
Now the Indian government has brought Japan in India’s Northeast to build massive infrastructure, which will not only ensure swift movement of Indian armed forces but, also catalyze the economic growth of the region. As per a report by Sidhant Sibal of WION, Japan will help India in improving highways, conserving biodiversity, water supply, and upskilling of human resources in Northeast Indian states.
“India Japan to take the following initiative in India’s North East –improvement of National Highways in Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura–hydropower in Meghalaya –biodiversity conservation in Sikkim, Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya; –water supply in Assam–Upskilling of human resources,” tweeted Sibal.
India Japan to take following initative in India's North East
–improvement of National Highways in Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura –hydropwer in Meghalaya –biodiversity conservation in Sikkim, Nagaland, Tripura and Meghalaya; –water supply in Assam
–Upskilling of human resources https://t.co/CsKqxIiGGB
— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) December 19, 2020
Previously, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) agreed to invest 13,000 crore rupees to support ongoing and new projects in the region.
“After a meeting between Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh and a Japanese delegation led by Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu in New Delhi on Wednesday, it was officially disclosed that the Japan Government is to invest Rs. 13,000 crore in several ongoing and new projects in different Northeastern states of India,” the statement said.
The projects expected to get JICA support are Guwahati Water Supply Project and Guwahati Sewage Project in Assam, Northeast Road Network Connectivity Improvement Project spread over Assam and Meghalaya, Northeast Network Connectivity Improvement Project in Meghalaya, Biodiversity Conservation and Forest Management Project in Sikkim, Sustainable Forest Management Project in Tripura, Technical Cooperation Project for Sustainable Agriculture and Irrigation in Mizoram and Forest Management Project in Nagaland.
Earlier, Tripura had received Rs. 1,364 crore from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The amount was received in two phases for the promotion of forest-based livelihood of the tribals and other backward people and value addition of non-timber forest products. The JICA had also extended soft loans worth Rs. 4,000 crores for the development of two National Highways (NH 54 and NH 51) in Mizoram and Meghalaya.
The Northeast has always been a neglected region of the country. Rich in biodiversity and culture, the region has been a hotbed of insurgency and conflict. Previous regimes have always looked the other way as far as development in the region is concerned. China has always had a keen interest in the region. Apart from aiding separatist elements in the Northeast with arms and ammunition, the country has been claiming Arunachal Pradesh as its territory.
India could give a befitting reply to China only if it has a solid infrastructure in the region for movement of its armed forces to fight the mighty Chinese forces. The infrastructure development in the region is also important from the civilian point of view, as it will make the life of people in the regions a bit easier. The people in the Northeastern region live in complicated conditions; therefore, investment by the government is necessary. The infrastructure development in the region will also promote tourism in the region which will bring economic prosperity of people living in Northeastern states.
The Modi government is very much committed towards development of the Northeast. The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) is there to look after the implementation of projects aimed towards the Northeastern region. The previous governments feared from developing infrastructure in the Northeast due to massive difficulties faced at the Brahmaputra riverfront but the Modi government has opened three bridges and planned five more. Brahmaputra River is no longer a hindrance in the development of Northeast India.