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22 Jan 2017

“Railway to become engine of growth for the North East India.” “IRCTC website may help marketing of tourism and local produce.” -Suresh Prabhu

PIB, Gangtok,21st January 2017: With an aim to tap the enormous tourism potential in North East region, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation “IRCTC’ has been asked to prepare an Integrated Torism Development plan for this region. With all the States in the region to get benefitted out of this, the North East may become a big development story through the growth of tourism.
This was announced by the Minister of Railways Mr.Suresh Prabhu here this evening.He was having an interactive session on Good Governance with the media persons, businessmen, prominent citizens and other stakeholders at Chintan Bhavan. He enumerated physical and emotional connectivity, people’s participation in planning process ,having a vision for the future and and planning in advance as the important aspects of Good Governance.
Mr.Prabhu stressed that The IRCTC website can also be used well for making the tourists aware of the places of their interest in the region as well as for providing the handloom and handicraft products of the region with an effective means of e-marketing with millions of potential buyers He said that this will be generate huge employment potential for the already well developed human capital of this region. Mr.Prabhu said that the Government looks forward to convert the NE into a new land of opportunities for the people of NE. and sees this part as one of the fastest growing parts in the world in the coming years..
Dwelling on the rail connectivity in the NE region,the Minister for Railways asserted that all the State capitals in the region, barring Gangtok, are now connected with the railways.He announced that after his talks with the Gorkha Territorial Administration GTA authorities last evening in Darjeeling, all the hurdles in the execution of the Sevoke (Bengal) and Rangpo(Sikkim) remain removed and the work on the project may be completed in the shortest of time now. Recalling that Sikkim has been declared as the country’s first organic state, he stressed that organic agriculture produce of the State are going to have a big demand in the years to come since people have now realized the huge cost of ignoring the nature while going for development.Mr.Prabhu said that once the rail connectivity is in place the people of the State are going to be benefitted in a big way.
The Railway Minister said that his Ministry has decided to prepare an Integrated Transport plan for the NE India and appealed to all the stake holders to contribute their ideas to make that a reality in the shortest possible time. He said that after completing the first phase of development, the Government is trying to take the railways to connect the rest of Asia by going through our international borders with Nepal,Bhutan,Bangladesh and Myanmar under the PMs “Look East and Act East policy’ of connecting with the East and South East Asia. This too is going to benefit the people of the North East India the most, he said.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion,the Chief Secretary ,Government of Sikkim,Mr.Alok Shrivastav told that the proposed Sevoke-Rangpo Rail link assumes even more significance in the light of the opening of the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra route through Nathula in Sikkim.He said that this rail link takes the same route which is taken to reach Gangtok and Nathula.Mr.Shrivastav requested the Railway Minister to expedite the project at the earliest by removing all the bottlenecks in the way.
The General Secretary of the Sikkim Chamber of Commerce Mr.Kailash Agarwal demanded an over bridge on the railway crossing at Sevoke in view of the frequent and long traffic jams there.He also demanded providing special coaches for the people of Sikkim in trains like Rajdhani Express and Darjeeling mail as well as help desk and retiring faciltiies for them.
The Lok Sabha Member from Sikkim Mr.PD Rai also spoke on the occasion.
The Railway Minister Mr.Suresh Prabhu released a booklet on the Railways achievents in the NE region brought out by the NF Railway Headquarters,Guwahati.

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