Modi govt changed emotional disconnect with Northeast: Prez Kovind

New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said more than the physical distance of the Northeast with Delhi, it was the emotional disconnect that had disheartened the people of the region and the Modi government has transformed it through tireless work in the last five years.

Kovind also said the recently signed Bodo agreement will bring to an end to the five-decade old complex problem.

'More than the physical distance of the Northeast from Delhi, it was the emotional disconnect that disheartened the people of the region. My government has transformed this situation by working tirelessly during the last five years,' he said addressing the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament.

The President said the Central and Assam governments have recently signed a historic agreement with Bodo organisations to bring an end to the five decade-old Bodo dispute.

'With this agreement, a complex problem, that has claimed more than 4,000 lives, has been resolved. After this agreement, the government will spend Rs 1,500 crore for the development of Bodo community,' he said.

Similarly, Kovind said, another landmark agreement signed by Tripura, Mizoram, the central government and the Bru community has not only resolved a decades-old problem but has also ensured a secure life for thousands of people belonging to the Bru community.

The government on Monday had signed an accord with the NDFB and two other outfits, providing political and economic benefits without acceding to the demand for a separate state or Union Territory, with an aim to bring permanent peace in the Bodo-dominated areas in Assam.

On January 16, another agreement was signed providing permanent settlement in Tripura for more than 30,000 displaced Bru tribals from Mizoram, who have been living as refugees in Tripura since 1997.

The deal was signed by representatives of Bru, the central, Tripura and Mizoram governments in presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah here.

The President said work is being done at an unprecedented pace in the Northeast to enhance connectivity, strengthen infrastructure and make people's lives easier.

As a result of these efforts of the government, by 2022, the capitals of Sikkim, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland will be connected to the rail network.

He said the work on Agartala-Akhaura rail link is also progressing at a fast pace. In the year 2022, the construction of the new airport being built at 'Holongi' in Arunachal Pradesh will also be completed.

Besides this, Kovind said, construction of AIIMS in Guwahati, bio-refinery in Numaligarh and sports university in Manipur are also progressing at a fast pace.

The President said recently, the government has sanctioned about Rs 9,000 crore for the North East Gas Grid Project.

This project will lay the foundation of a gas-based economy in all eight states of the Northeast, he said. PTI ACB ACB DV DV