Agartala, Sept 22: More infrastructure needs to be built in the north-eastern region, which shares borders with five countries, to enhance trade and commerce with the neighbouring nations, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said today.
The north-eastern region, comprising of eight states, are backward and the untapped resources of the region cannot be utilized without building proper infrastructures, Sarkar told in his inaugural address at the three-day 'North East Connectivity Summit', which began here today.
"The region has international borders with five neighbouring countries. For developing better connectivity with those countries more infrastructure needs to be built. We need more roads, more rail tracks, more generation of power and then only Look-East policy, renamed as Act East policy, would be more meaningful", Sarkar said.
He said, "The relation between Bangladesh and India is very good and the neighbouring country is helping us immensely." However, he criticized the central government for not properly addressing the issues of the people of the region.
"People of this region are poor, but the central government is not addressing the issues properly," he said. Bibek Debroy, Member NITI Aayog said, Dhaka is just 150 km from Tripura's capital Agartala, Chittagong port is just 75 km from Tripura's border and Ashuganj river port is very near (50 km).
He said, AgartalaAkhaura rail link is being set up to connect north-east with Bangladesh and Akhaura check post is being modernized and many border haats (markets) are being set up to enhance trade with Bangladesh.
"These are all positive developments to build connectivity and boost trade relations," he added. Chairman of FICCI NE advisory Council, Ranjit Barthakur said, the summit was organized by FICCI with support from the Tripura government to present a glimpse of the emerging opportunities for business in the state and connectivity was one of the core issues impacting economic development in the region.
Representatives from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Bhutan, Japan, Russia and other north eastern states also participated in the summit which would end on September 23.