Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday said that Northeast is witnessing "transformation through transportation" and mega projects regularly inaugurated in the region bear testimony to it.
Speaking at a programme at Pandu terminal in Guwahati, which was attended virtually by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from New Delhi, CM Sarma said had the development work in the Northeast that taken place at the current pace since Independence, the region would have already been on the growth trajectory.
During the function, Modi inaugurated a Maritime Skill Development Centre in Guwahati, which will offer better job opportunities to local youths.
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for a ship-repairing facility in Guwahati, which will serve as an alternative to a similar facility in Kolkata, saving fuel and manpower costs for vessel owners and boosting local ancillary industries, besides generating employment.
The foundation stone for an elevated road connecting Pandu terminal to National Highway 27 was also laid by the prime minister. It will allow 24/7 movement of cargo vehicles, PTI reported.
The world's longest river cruise, MV Ganga Vilas, which will travel from Varanasi to Dibrugarh in Assam via Dhaka, was flagged off by the prime minister.
The chief minister said that in 2014, when the first Modi government was formed at the Centre, the prime minister had visualised "transformation through transportation" for the Northeast.
"We have seen progress in railways and highways. The focus is now on waterways and we are witnessing much development in this sector now," the chief minister said.
Mega projects that are regularly inaugurated across the Northeast assure the people that development is taking place, he said.
With Guwahati and Dibrugarh being among G20 meeting venues, he claimed that under previous regimes, such mega programmes were confined to big cities.
"People of the Northeast are thankful for these. We feel that had such thrust been put on the development of the region since Independence, our condition would have been already much improved," he asserted.
Sarma said MV Ganga Vilas will enable tourists to visit places such as Kamakhya Temple, Kaziranga National Park, Majuli island and tea city Dibrugarh in Assam.
The tourists will always be treated with utmost respect and cordiality, Sarma added.