AIZAWL, Jun 12: The Centre is committed to fast-tracking the development initiatives in the North East, especially in border areas, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said here on Monday.
Addressing a meeting of the chief ministers of the four north eastern states that share border with Myanmar, Singh said the region is immensely rich in human and natural resources and its ethnic and linguistic diversities enrich India's cultural heritage.
“Our government is committed to fast-tracking of development in the region. Work on road and rail network extension is going on. We want to extend these networks to border areas," he said in his opening remarks.
The meeting was convened to discuss the issues of India-Myanmar border and attended by Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju besides Pema Khandu, N Biren Singh and Lal Thanhawla, the chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Mizoram, respectively, and Nagaland Home Minister Yanthungo Patton.
"India-Myanmar border is unique in many ways. It has a visa-free movement regime for the people living within 16 km on either side," Singh pointed out.
Praising the Assam Rifles, which guards the 1,643-km-long India-Myanmar border, the home minister said the paramilitary force is performing its duty with courage and determination.
Under the Border Area Development programme, the four states – Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram – bordering Myanmar received Rs 567.39 crore during the last three years, Singh said.
The home minister also met Mizoram Governor Lt. Gen. (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma at Raj Bhavan here.
The international border with Mynamar is considered to be porous with cross-border movement of insurgents and smuggling of arms and ammunition common there.
This is for the first time that such a meeting has been called to discuss issues concerning Mynamar border with active participation of the state governments.
The chief secretaries, directors general of police of the states, director general of the Assam Rifles and senior officials from the central ministries concerned were also present at the meeting. PTI