---- Editorial ----
Economic blockade is inhuman
The nearly five-month-long economic blockade on the two National Highways of Manipur
by the United Naga Council has come to an end since last night. The blockade was
lifted following tripartite talks among the representatives of the Centre, new BJP
State Government and the UNC at Senapati District Headquarters on Sunday. The blockade
was imposed on NH-2 and NH-37 by the United Naga Council on November 1 last year
to protest against the creation of seven new districts by the erstwhile Okram Ibobi
Singh-led Congress government in the state.
Lot of politics has been played over this issue. Both BJP and Congress accused each
other of playing role in the blockade. During the assembly election, this was a major
issue. People of Manipur will be hoping that with the lifting of economic blockade
situation will return to normal. Blockade had led to steep rise in prices of essential
commodities and severely affected the normal life. In the last decade on several
instances Naga groups have used economic blockade as means to put pressure on Manipur
government in order to fulfill their demand. This is absolutely wrong and is a grave
human right violation. Such kind of economic blockade only makes life miserable for
poor and downtrodden. In the past Assam has also used economic blockade as means
to punish Arunachalees whenever boundary dispute erupts between two states. Therefore
Union Government should take strong measures so that in future no one dares to impose
such kind of inhuman blockade on fellow citizens.
---- Readers Forum ----
Strategic connectivity of North east and its Tourism Potential
North East always finds a mention on a tourism bucket list. There are wild destinations
to witness three sixty degree happiness. But there is transportation bottleneck in
the entire north eastern states. We need to find the opportunity to capitalize it.
National highways of north east carry strategic interest for this frontier land.
Improvements of these roads will bring sea change in their tourism industry. The
historic Ledo-Stillwell Road is required to open for South Asia connectivity. Even
Mountbatten confused this Ledo road to be a river, while flying over the Hukawng
valley during monsoon. The Indian side of the road is still navigable by car, but
once in Burma, the road soon disappears. The India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) road corridor
of the Trans-Asian Highway network will greet commuters very soon. Our PM is very
keen to make northeast (Astalakshmi) region to a tourist hub.
Beautiful Shillong popularly called ‘the abode of clouds’ is most preferred by visitors
as it is easily accessible through incredible road from Guwahati, passing through
some of the most magical mountains, breathtaking waterfalls and panoramic landscape.
The Kernel of the Cherrapunji plateau comprises the oldest rocks in the State. Despite
hanging fire last two decades, the survey of Shillong railway network has now finally
Bus services are introduced to connect Calcutta via the capital of Bangladesh. People
of Tripura, Meghalaya and Assam, which share extensive boundaries with India's eastern
neighbour, would benefit from this. India and Bangladesh are also keen to strengthen
railway connectivity, which were in existence prior to 1965. They are set to sign
a coastal shipping agreement to facilitate sailing of small vessels from India to
various ports in Bangladesh, which now go through Singapore. India feels improving
connectivity with Bangladesh will help linking the North eastern region with Southeast
Railways are coming up Bhalukpung to Tawang, Murkongselek to Pasighat in Arunachal
and Silapathar. Very sooner we will have easy access to India’s another mountain
pass Tawang, which has recently caught tourists’ attention. It was under Tibetan
government even after independence until Indian Army took over in 1951. Also it has
significance as a place where the Chinese occupied for a long time, preparing the
1962 war almost unhindered until international pressure brokered a ceasefire.
The opening of old Silk Route makes Nathula the centre of attraction for border trade
to specific type of goods to promote friendly relationship. Nathula has its significance
as our then PM Nehru and Spiritual Dalai Lama crossed through this pass. BRO inspiring
line “if you can dream it you can do it” is doing excellent job in maintenance of
one of the highest motorable roads.
Barak valley of Silchar is now connected with broad gauge. Mizoram capital is to
be on railway map by next year. India wants to connect its Railways track with Chittagong
port through Sabroom. Even Bangladesh shows interest into the same tourist circuit.
Chittagong port will be the NE’s first gateway to the sea since partition. Tripura
entered the broad gauge railway map of the country connecting capital via Guwahati.
Agartala-Akhoura railway link would be part of trans-Asian rail connectivity in
When we look Dubai, it is very interesting to know that Tourism is an important part
of the Dubai government's strategy to maintain the flow of foreign cash into the
emirate. Nevertheless, the country remains principally reliant on its export of petroleum
and natural gas. Moving back to India, In Gujarat, people always talk about the ideal
destination of a romantic holiday. And I cannot remember an occasion when there was
so much excitement and anticipation on the tour of journey to the land of Portuguese.
It had been truly a phenomenal tour de Diu. The people of Diu retain their heritage
to date and tourism is the only industry of their state.
Our own mighty Brahmaputra has its potential to be a mega hub for tourist. More
number of bridges will bring ease connectivity to both side of the river. Even neighbouring
Gangtok established to be a visitor’s delight. Despite disturbance, hospitality in
Kashmir valley is well known. North east needs to develop their own strategy to attract
tourist. We are not just states of suffering problems; surely, we have hope and happening
around. It has been the meeting point of many communities, faiths and cultures and
has some real surprises for the travellers. Together we can generate immense interest
within and outside the nation.
The ongoing campaign by Assam tourism signifies excellent start to add momentum to
promote and showcase Assam around the world. Act east policy will surely add bright
outlook for higher tourist footfalls from south Asian countries too. Relaxation of
permit for foreigner and better air connectivity will add to its progress. Despite
geographically isolated from the rest of the India, the new roadmap of Assam make
visitors friendly once they reach in this land. Surely it promises to be a hot-spot
tourist destination in future. One should experience the rare beauty of this wonderful
land once in life time.
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