In a bid to address the issue of poor connectivity in India’s north-east, the central government is planning to focus on the road sector in the region in a big way, Minister of State for Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh said on Friday.
Singh said this when a delegation of Manipur-based Socio-Economic Development Organisation (SEDO) called on him with a request to consider a proposal for an alternative and shorter inter-state road link between Manipur and Assam from Tuibong, the headquarters of Manipur’s Churachandpur district, to Jiribam on the Assam border.
The minister said the emphasis would not only be on constructing new roads and widening the existing ones but also on laying down a network of inter-state roads that were hitherto not owned by any of the respective states and were often referred to as “orphan roads”, according to an official statement.
The SEDO delegation, led by Letkho Haokip, handed over to Singh a memorandum and a letter of recommendation from Manipur parliamentarian Thangso Baihe.
According to the memorandum, the existing link between Manipur and Assam through a road from state capital Imphal to Silchar in southern Assam is about 250 km long and also has a huge traffic load.
An alternative road from Tuibong to Jiribam, if constructed, will reduce the distance between the two states to less than 150 km.
In the memorandum, the delegation requested the minister to take up this road project under the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resource (NLCPR) for 2015-16. This will not only help in improving the connectivity but also help in bringing all the underdeveloped parts of the region closer to the mainstream, it stated.
According to the members of the delegation, they had approached the Manipur government for inclusion of the project in the state priority list of NLCPR for 2015-16 and were told that it had also been recommended to the DoNER ministry.
When Mughal empire was brutally expanding under Aurangzeb, then the commander of Ahom dynasty, Lachit Borphukan made them taste their worst defeat in historic Battle of Saraighat
With mighty army of Mughals Aurangzeb was eyeing at Northeast India. But he was not aware of what fate his army will meet when they clash with Ahom dynasty of Assam under commandership of Lachit Borphukan, the man who shattered dreams of Mughal empire to conquest Northeast India. We are quite familiar with the valour of Maharana Pratap and Shivaji but somehow we were not told much about the unsung hero of Battle of Saraighat, Lachit Borphukan. Battle of Saraighat would always be remembered for the victory of a much smaller Ahom army over the mighty Mughal Army, through a combination of tactical brilliance, guerrilla warfare and intelligence gathering. It was the last attempt by the Mughals to extend their empire into Assam.
The valiant Ahoms had successfully repulsed frequent attacks on their motherland since the time of Muhammad Ghori for around seventeen invasions.
The Mughals, were comparatively very well equipped, but failed to make any advances towards the Ahom army in the first phase of the war. So they offered Lachit Borphukan a bribe of one lakh rupees to abandon Guwahati but Lachit Borphukan refused to surrender.
From the capital city of Guwahti to the depths of the forests the Ahom warriors fought and held back the tide of invasion. The proud warriors of Central Asia, Mughals and Pathans alike were retreated by the valiant resistance of the Ahoms.
An incident in the history of Ahom resistance radiates the spirit which animated their fight for freedom, when Lachit Borphukan, the Army General of Ahom king Chakradhwaj Singha had beheaded his maternal uncle for dereliction of duty while preparing to face the Mughals. His execution of his own uncle for not showing sufficient dedication to the war effort was not just an act of impulse but a reminder to his soldiers that in the service of one’s Dharma, it is not possible to adopt double standards of judgement. This act of selflessness and dedication further motivated the troops, who were charged with full energy and enthusiasm to the battle field. Such examples are not very uncommon in Indian history where Dharma is upheld.
The reason why small Ahom army under Lachit Borphukan defeated mighty army of Mughals lies in the elaborate defense organized by him along the Brahamputra river which denied the use of the waterway to a large army of Aurangzeb comprising 1800 Turkish cavalry, 30,000 infantry and 500 cannons manned by the Portuguese. In the final stages of the battle, despite being seriously ill, he rallied his soldiers and personally led an assault forcing them to retreat. It is recorded that he said:“When my countrymen are suffering from invasion, and when my army is fighting and sacrificing its life, how can I think about resting my body due to a mere illness? How can I think about going home to my wife and children when my entire country is in trouble?”
The Mughal Commander-in-Chief, acknowledging his defeat by the Ahom soldiers and their Commander-in-Chief Lachit Barphukan, wrote, “Glory to the king! Glory to the counselors! Glory to the commanders! Glory to the country! One single individual leads all the forces! Even I, Ram Singh, being personally on the spot, have not been able to find any loophole and an opportunity!”
Lachit died soon after his victory at The Battle of Saraighat due to illness. It is sad that Lachit Borphukan is an unsung hero, let us give him the recognition he deserves, we must tell his tale of valour to coming generations and derive inspiration, he is an example that no matter how strong opponents and barbaric forces were, someone, somewhere resisted and fought against them for protection of motherland.
– by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik
Due to improvement in connectivity and transport facility in the last two years, coupled with concentrated administrative focus, more and more youngsters are now heading towards the northeastern states to venture into entrepreneurship
New Delhi, October 16, 2017 : Union Minister of State for Development of the North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh claimed that the area was fast emerging as the new start-up destination for youngsters from all over India, an official statement on Monday.
Due to improvement in connectivity and transport facility in the last two years, coupled with concentrated administrative focus, more and more youngsters are now heading towards the northeastern states to venture into entrepreneurship and take advantage of its unexplored potential, he said, according to a DoNER Ministry statement.
Citing an example, he said in certain areas of Northeast, including states like Arunachal Pradesh, “while almost 40 per cent of the fruit goes waste on account of lack of adequate storage and transport facilities, the same can be used to produce and manufacture fresh and pure fruit juice at a much more cost-effective price”.
During an interaction with youngsters, Jitendra Singh also pointed out that many new airports coming up at Pakyong (Sikkim), Itanagar and Shillong, which along with a time-bound plan to lay broad-gauge rail track, would bring in further ease of doing business.
“Another sector of entrepreneurship which is fast emerging in Northeast is the medical and healthcare sector.
“For years, there has been a trend for patients to shift outside the region, mostly to Kolkata or Vellore, but the encouragement given to the private corporate sector has now resulted in the opening of new hospitals within the region itself and young entrepreneurs are taking the lead,” he said. (IANS)