NEW DELHI, Aug 14 – Identifying timely completion of connectivity projects linking the North Eastern Region (NER) with neighbouring South East Asia as a key to success of the ‘Look East Policy’, a report has recommended that a high-level inter-ministerial body be set up in consultation with the NE states.A crucial report titled “Transforming Connectivity Corridors between India and Myanmar into Development Corridors”, authored by former Ambassador to Myanmar VS Seshadri and brought out by the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), was released here this morning.
The report was scheduled to be released by Minister DoNER General (retd) VK Singh, but he failed to turn up. His speech, however, was read out in his absence. “Ï have consistently felt that the NER has tremendous scope of growth and development, but has not realised its potential. It is also clear to me that the development of the North-East is organically and intrinsically linked with South East Asia.
“Myanmar is key to the development of the North-East. On this front we are enhancing land connectivity and also multi-transit connectivity. The Kaladan multi-model transit transport model is expected to be fully completed by 2016,” the Minister said.
The report concluded that various trade, investment, education and other exchanges, may become easier and feasible, if the connectivity corridors through Moreh, Zothawthar and Zorinpui take shape by road, railways and inland waterways.
The report recommended that the Committee of Secretaries may closely monitor the progress in the connectivity projects.
As a complement to it, an inter-ministerial level bilateral mechanism may also be considered between India and Myanmar that can ensure coordination, timely assistance in project implementation apart from putting in place bilateral arrangements necessary for smooth and efficient transportation and transit.
If successfully completed, the development corridors will not only bring accelerated development to western Myanmar and North-East India, but also help to forge closer bonds between the two countries, the report said.