TODAY -

Northeast Potential and Beyond
- Hueiyen Lanpao Editorial :: October 28 2015 -



The Government of India’s renewed effort to develop Assam’s commercial city Guwahati as a hub to provide improved connectivity to the Northeastern region can be understood in many possible ways.

The primary reason for the push forward on connectivity has been directly linked to showcasing the rich tourism potential of the Northeast States as if the sector is the only acknowledged potential.

However, with the supposed initiative and under the benevolent kindness of the Government of India, it has been put on record that the Tourism Ministry had recorded that the number of foreign tourist visits (FTVs) to the region during 2014 grew by 39.8%, revealing a significant improvement in the growth of 27.9% in FTVs registered during 2013 over 2012.

With such data in hand, it comes as no surprise that the Government of India is making efforts to improve connectivity as one primary component of promoting tourism in the region.

It has been reported that one of the major steps in this direction is creating Guwahati as a hub to provide improved connectivity to the rest of Northeast.

According to reports, the Government of India has sanctioned funds to the tune of Rs 1200 crore for development of Guwahati Airport.

Rs 484 crore have also been sanctioned for up gradation of Agartala Airport and Rs 90 crore for Tezu Airport (Arunachal Pradesh).

The Ministry of Tourism is working on 3 projects in Majuli, Tawang & Kamakhya for promoting Tourism in Northeast States. Rs 250 crore have already been sanctioned for the projects under the Swadesh Darshan (North-east Circuit) and PRASAD schemes of the Ministry of Tourism.

The ministry is of the opinion that there is a need to increase India’s share in world tourism from 0.68 to 1 % by 2020 to realize the full potential of this sector.

Moreover, the authorities of the Government of India think that Tourism helps in women empowerment and youth employment.

While most observations on Tourism potential of the region are correct and the prospects look bright, what policy planners should do now is go beyond the conventional understanding that the Northeast has only potentials for certain restricted sectors.

This basically means, there is a serious need to overhaul the old perspective legitimized by years of pathetic ontology.

This basically means one has to think aloud about the rich natural deposits like oil, coal, uranium and more before some powers begin taking a serious peek.



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