The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh has said that the North-Eastern States can show the way to other States and particularly the other hill States of Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand can emulate several of the successful experiments and initiatives taken in the Northeast.
Addressing the 3-day “Sustainable Mountain Development Summit” at Mizoram University in Aizawl yesterday, Dr. Jitendra Singh said that the other States of India have much to learn from the North-Eastern States and in this regard, he cited the example of Mizoram, where the conference was being held. He said, a small State, which formed just over 30 years ago and has a population of just over 10 lakh, has a very high literacy rate which is, perhaps, next only to Kerala. Not only this, he said, the State of Mizoram, comprising four hill districts with more than 50% of the state’s population living in these districts, has successfully introduced “New Land Use Policy” by giving the farmers an alternate sustainable land based activity through this policy wherein the farmers have successfully switched over to other vocational activities like horticulture, sericulture, bamboo plantation, etc. He also complimented Mizoram for having introduced the new “Economic Development Policy” as a comprehensive growth strategy for the State.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the proposal for introducing “Air Clinics” comprising helicopter based OPD to cater to people in far-flung areas is almost through and very soon this, first of its kind, healthcare experiment in India, will be introduced in the North-Eastern States. He further said that this is one of the initiatives which could also be emulated by States like Jammu & Kashmir.
In the last three years of the Union Government, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, a number of new initiatives have been undertaken which could have actually been undertaken several years ago. In this regard, he referred to the declaration of 19 new rivers in Northeast as “National Waterways” with thrust on the “Barak Waterways”. This will not only provide alternative means of transport but the cost will be nearly four times lesser than the other modes of transport, he said.
The Indo-German collaboration with regard to Mizoram has already begun, disclosed Dr Jitendra Singh and added that Japan has also come forward to invest in Manipur and other States of the region.