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North East tops agenda for development-Selja

By Staff
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Gangtok, May 4 (UNI) North East Region (NER) tops the central government's priority list for development, Union Minister of state for Urban Employment and poverty alleviation Kumari Selja has said.

Ms Selja, who was here on a three day visit to Sikkim, said the central government had accelerated the pace of development in the NER.

The NEC had been reactivated and steps were taken for the development of infrastrcture like air and telecom connectivity.

Addressing a gathering after inaugurating a slum rehabilitation centre and laying the foundation stone of subzi-mandi-cum-parking complex at lower Lingding in East Sikkim last evening, she said efforts were on to electrify all the villages and to improve the educational standard of the NER within next four years.

The Minister said central government had identified three areas-- housing projects in urban areas, poverty alleviation and slum improvement--in the NER and had already sanctioned Rs 200 crore to achieve the goal in sustainable equitable manner.

Ms Selja said her ministry had approved a sum of Rs 58 crore for implementation of eight projects-- five for slum improvement and three for povery alleviatiion in Sikkim.

The union government had already launched Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Visual Mission in 53 identified cities including Gangtok for the development of infrastructure govermance and providing basic services like water supply, sanitation, social security and implementation of various health schemes, she said.

The Minister, who earlier in the day visited Bababamandir, Changu Lake and Nathula on the Indo-China border was very much impressed by the natural beauty of Sikkim and described it as the most beautiful state in the country.

Ms Selja also visited the Pradesh Congress Head office here later.

Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling and some top dignitaries of the centre and the state were present at the meeting. Ms Selja left for New Delhi this morning.

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