Aizawl, March 10: Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said Mizoram will soon serve as the “all-important gateway” of South East Asian economies and become a fulcrum in the development of the North-eastern region through the bilateral Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP) involving neighbouring Myanmar.
The KMMTTP will connect the Kolkata with Sittwe port of Myanmar by sea. It will link Sittwe with Paletwa in that country via the Kaladan river, and from Paletwa to Mizoram by road.
Addressing the MLAs of Mizoram in the state assembly, Naidu said that the KMMTTP when completed will transform the economy of not just the state but the entire North-eastern region and help accelerate economic growth and development.
“Within the renewed Act East Policy of the Government of India, Mizoram is set to occupy the centre stage as it will serve as the all-important gateway of South East Asian economies into the region as well as into the country.
“I am confident that in the coming years Mizoram will become a fulcrum in the region’s growth and development through the important Kaladan Multi Modal Project,” the vice-president said.
Naidu said that signing of the historic Mizo peace accord in 1986, which ended more than two decades of unrest and strife in Mizoram, has ushered in peace and progress in the state.
The accord has served as an example based on which similar peace agreements have become a reality in other parts of the Northeastern region, he said.
Mizoram today is not only counted as one of the most peaceful states in the country but has embarked upon the developmental journey with a rare earnestness, Naidu said.
“Even though Mizoram was a late starter in the developmental process as compared to other Northeastern states, I am extremely pleased to note the rapid strides being made by this important state towards socio-economic development with completion of several infrastructure projects,” he said.
Naidu, who arrived in Aizawl on Wednesday for a two-day visit, said that the state has improved its ranking in Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) index from 21st position in 2019-20 to 12th position in 2020-21.
He said that Mizoram is rich in natural resources and these resources and congenial weather must be harnessed in all possible ways to make sustainable development.
The state also has great scope for small scale industries based on bamboo and timber, agro-products, handloom and handicrafts, as well as medicinal and aromatic plants, he said.
The vice-president said that sustainable agricultural practices must be promoted and encouraged in the state.
Mizoram also has a great potential for expanding horticulture and floriculture as orchids and anthuriums, for example, can, not only generate additional income to farmers but also make the state a favourite tourist destination, he said.
Naidu appreciated various programmes of the state government to bring about socio-economic development that is inclusive and people-centric.
Naidu also said that the central government gives priority to the development of the North East region.
He pointed out that Rs 600 crore was allocated in the 2022-23 Union Budget for constructions of Aizawl by-pass road and bamboo link roads in different parts of Mizoram under the Prime Minister’s Development Initiative for North-East (PM-DevINE) Scheme.
Naidu said that he was pleased with the way Mizoram has deepened the country’s democratic roots by peaceful electoral processes, graceful conduct of legislators in the Assembly and sustained, inclusive development endeavour over the last five decades.
“I congratulate all of you in setting a high benchmark that other state legislatures and even the Parliament can emulate,” he said.
Despite being the worst COVID-19 affected state, Mizoram has been able to fight the pandemic because “Tlawmngaihna”, the Mizo code of ethics and life, has served as the guiding principle and mantra of the state against the pandemic, he said. (PTI)