Union home minister Amit Shah addressing the 70th plenary meeting of the North Eastern Council in Guwahati on October 9 | PIB

Presiding over the 70th plenary meeting of the North Eastern Council in Guwahati on October 9, union home minister Amit Shah said that there were three major hurdles in the path of development of the Northeast for decades – violence and unrest by extremist groups; lack of rail, road and air connectivity and absence of thrust on development by previous governments.

He said that the development of the Northeast was never a priority for the previous governments. But, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre has made many efforts in the last 8 years to bring peace to the region, increase all connectivity and give priority to development.

The union minister said that the whole of India considers the languages, cultures, cuisine and costumes of the Northeast of the country as its heritage and the government is making every effort to preserve and promote the natural identity of this region.

Amit Shah urged the chief ministers of the Northeastern states to make full use and benefit from North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) data for flood control, irrigation, tourism, afforestation and agriculture.

He said that the CMs of the Northeast states should appoint a nodal officer for NESAC in their states so that maximum and better use of this platform can be made.

Amit Shah said that the Indian economy is currently ranked fifth in the world and financial discipline by the Northeastern states is necessary to contribute to making it second in the world.

Highlighting the importance of natural farming and digital farming, Shah said that natural farming and digital farming are a matter of priority for the government of India and the process of forming a multi-state cooperative society by merging Amul and 5 other cooperatives for certification of natural products is also started.

He said that after the certification of these products, this cooperative society will also ensure their export so that the profit will go directly to the bank accounts of the farmers. Shah said that more than 500 laboratories across the country will certify the quality of soil and natural products.

The union home minister said that flood-free and drug-free Northeast is very important for the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Emphasizing over the measures to prevent floods, Amit Shah said that the purpose of hydropower plants is not only to generate energy but can also be used in flood prevention. Apart from this, the ideal use of 271 wetlands can also help in preventing floods. He urged to keep the NE states free from the use of single-use plastic for environmental protection.

Union minister for culture, tourism and development of Northeastern region G Kishan Reddy and minister of state for the ministry of development of Northeastern region and ministry of co-operation BL Verma, the governors and chief ministers of the Northeastern states and senior officers of various departments of the Centre and the NE states were also present in the meeting.

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