Agartala, Dec 24: The ruling Left Front consolidating its political base, a bus service to Bangladesh, and almost no militant activities in the once rebel-infested state were some of the highlights of Tripura in 2015.
Elections to the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC), which constitute two third of the state territory and is the home to the tribals forming one third of the state's 40 lakh people, saw a massive victory for ruling Left.
In the 30-member council, two seats are nominated by the Governor on the advice of the state government and the elections for the rest 28 seats were held on May 4.
The Left Front won all the 28 seats. It was a landslide victory for the Left Front - 25 seats went to the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and one seat each to the Communist Party of India, the RSP and the All India Forward Bloc.
The Left registered another landslide victory in the elections to 20 civic bodies in the state, including the 49-member Agartala Municipal Corporation, on December 9. The CPI-M-led Left Front bagged 45 out of the 49 wards of Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) leaving only four to Opposition Congress. Altogether, elections were held in 310 seats in 20 civic bodies in which Left Front candidates won 291 and Opposition Congress secured 13 seats and BJP 4.
The rest two were won by Independent candidates. This was the first time that BJP won seats in civic bodies in the state. Convener of Left Front Committee and CPI-M central committee member Khagen Das termed it as people's "verdict for good governance and relentless endeavour for peace, tranquility and development".
Tripura considered a landlocked state surrounded by Bangladesh on three sides and sharing 85 per cent of its border with that country got a direct bus service when the Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and the Dhaka-Shillong-Guwahati bus services were jointly flagged off on June 6 by prime ministers Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina during the latter's Dhaka visit.
The initial bus fare was fixed at Rs 1,800 including The initial bus fare was fixed at Rs 1,800 including travel tax to the Bangladesh government. TRTC had purchased a 45-seater Volvo bus at a cost of around Rs 91 lakh for plying between Agartala to Kolkata via Dhaka.
Bangladesh and India signed an agreement for selling 100 MW power from Tripura's 726 mg MW gas-fired thermal power project at Palatana in Gomati district on November 27.
"We were eager to sell power to the neighbouring country because it allowed us to use their water ways for carrying the over dimensional machines to Agartala. As our roads through the northeast region are zigzag and mountainous and not all weather proof, so it is difficult to carry the machines.
On our request, government of India agreed to sell power from Tripura to Bangladesh. Tripura is a power surplus state now," Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said. Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on July 11 unveiled the plaque for international gateway for Internet service, in presence of Governor Tathagata Roy and Sarkar at the capital city.
Prasad said the proposed international Internet gateway, which will provide broadband connectivity to northeast with the help of Bangladesh, would improve the quality of service in the region. Connectivity will be provided through Bangladesh under an agreement between state-run BSNL and Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company.
The Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) signed a MOU with the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), an undertaking of the Union Ministry of Power, to replace sodium vapour and other lamps with LED lights. Tripura held its top position for the seventh consecutive year in providing work to job card holders under MGNREGA.
The state government provided 68 days per household in the current 2015-16 against the national average of 36 days. Tripura was once a hot bed of insurgency for three decades, but with the restoration of peace and tranquility between the tribals and non-tribals, Sarkar said it has become a model state of development.