Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb laid emphasis on improving relations with Bangladesh at the very first “NITI Forum for North East” meeting at Agartala on Tuesday.
He said: “We need quality air connectivity, a dedicated international internet gateway, and inter-regional road connectivity across Bangladesh.
“Besides, launching of waterways, Indo-Bangla initiatives on trade and commerce, building of more land custom stations, development of tourism, tribal welfare activities, and Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) would be Tripura’s priorities in the forthcoming years.”
The meeting was attended by chief ministers of all northeast Indian states, India’s Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Minister Jitendra Singh, and other concerned officials.
Stating that northeastern India lies at the hub of the Indian government’s “Act East” policy, Biplab said that northeast India in general, particularly Tripura needs the support of India’s centre in the crucial spheres of connectivity.
Biplab also stressed the need for land custom facilities and removal of restrictions on Tripura’s exports to Bangladesh, border haats, and creation of infrastructure at the Bangladesh border in Tripura.
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On the other hand, DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh said: “A private airliner has proposed to come up with direct air connectivity between Agartala and Dhaka. We’ll explore the feasibilities of materialization of this idea.”
Besides, NITI Aayog’s Vice Chairperson Rajib Kumar said connectivity between Sabroom and Chittagong will remove Tripura’s landlocked tag which will drastically impact the northeast’s entire connectivity system.
During the meeting, Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb laid down his priorities which include “education, health, housing, and other basic amenities for all.”
The “NITI Forum for North East” was constituted in February 2018 aiming to ensure sustainable economic growth of northeast India. The forum is part of India’s policy think tank National Institution for Transforming India Aayog (NITI).