New Delhi: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Nityanand Rai said that the development of North East region has been the priority for the Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He was on his maiden visit to the Headquarters Directorate General, Assam Rifles at Shillong on the occasion of the Annual Assam Rifles Commanders’ Conference today.
Addressing the media, the minister said that the North East has undergone a revolutionary transformation in the last five years because of the concerted efforts of the Union Government. North East is today competing both at National and International level in different spheres and there has been efforts to bring this region at par with rest of the country in different spheres, be it sports, art and culture, infrastructure, production of essential commodities, education, industrial development among others, he added.
Acknowledging the abundance of natural resources in the region, the Minister said that if these huge potentials present in the Northeast region are tapped adequately there is scope for setting up of lot of industries in the region. He also said that improved connectivity and infrastructure has removed bottlenecks in the development process, giving boost to the region’s economy and promoting industry. With the pace at which the development activities have been progressing because of the fast-track thrust by the Union Government, the Northeast will soon become the most unique, developed and preferred destination in the entire country and a region whose development model would be replicated in the rest of the country, the Minister opined.
Earlier in the day, Shri Rai was given the Ceremonial Guard of Honour by the mixed contingent comprising of Male and Female soldiers of Assam Rifles. He later paid homage to the martyrs of the Force at the Laitkor War Memorial.
The Minister also attended the Special Sainik Sammelan comprising of all Ranks of Assam Rifles. In his address, Shri Rai complimented Assam Rifles for playing a pivotal role in guarding the national frontiers and facilitating various Government schemes in North Eastern States leading to infrastructure development. He lauded the efforts of the Assam Rifles for the selfless service in far flung border areas like Vijaynagar in Arunachal Pradesh and remote areas of Nagaland and Manipur. He appreciated the efforts of all Assam Rifles battalions engaged in skill development of the youth leading to employment generation opportunities under Skill India Mission and also towards organising sports related activities like local tournaments and coaching camps for talented youths. The Minister complimented the Force for spreading awareness about Swaccha Bharat, Jal Shakti Abhiyan and Fit India Movement in the entire region.
Shri Rai exhorted the troops of the oldest border guarding force to continue their good work in all spheres including being an ever alert force and countering Insurgency in the most challenging terrain of the North East. Later in the day the Minister also inaugurated the newly constructed OPD wing of Assam Rifles Multi Speciality Hospital at Laitkor (Shillong).
During the Conference, Lt Gen Sukhdeep Sangwan (SM), DG Assam Rifles, briefed the Minister about the general security situation in the North East, the activities of the Force while guarding the Indo Myanmar border and about counter insurgency operations being undertaken. He also highlighted various developmental and welfare initiatives taken by Assam Rifles in the region.