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Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region
Agency overview
FormedSeptember, 2001
JurisdictionIndiaRepublic of India
HeadquartersVigyan Bhavan Annexe, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi -110 011.
Annual budget3,000 crore (US$390 million) (2018-19 est.)[1]
Ministers responsible
Websitemdoner.gov.in

The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region is a Government of India ministry, established in September 2001, which functions as the nodal Department of the Central Government to deal with matters related to the socio-economic development of the eight States of Northeast India: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.[2] It acts as a facilitator between the Central Ministries/ Departments and the State Governments of the North Eastern Region in the economic development including removal of infrastructural bottlenecks, provision of basic minimum services, creating an environment for private investment and to remove impediments to lasting peace and security in the North Eastern Region.

The current, Minister of Development of North Eastern Region is G. Kishan Reddy.[3]

Functions and responsibilities

The Department of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) was created in 2001 and was accorded the status of a full-fledged ministry on May 2004. The ministry is mainly concerned with the creation of infrastructure for economic development of North-Eastern region.

Main activities/functions of the DoNER.

Organisations

The ministry has following organisations functioning under it:[5]

List Of Ministers

Name Term of office Political Party
(Alliance)
Prime Minister Reference
1 C. P. Thakur 29 January 2003 23 May 2004 Bharatiya Janata Party
(National Democratic Alliance)
Atal Bihari Vajpayee [6]
2 P. R. Kyndiah 23 May 2004 24 October 2006 Indian National Congress
(United Progressive Alliance)
Manmohan Singh
3 Mani Shankar Aiyar 24 October 2006 22 May 2009
4 Bijoy Krishna Handique 31 May 2009 19 July 2011 [7]
5 Paban Singh Ghatowar
(MoS, Independent Charge)
19 July 2011 26 May 2014
6 Gen. V. K. Singh
(MoS, Independent Charge)
26 May 2014 9 November 2014 Bharatiya Janata Party
(National Democratic Alliance)
Narendra Modi [8]
7 Jitendra Singh
(MoS, Independent Charge)
9 November 2014 7 July 2021
8 G. Kishan Reddy 7 July 2021 Incumbent

List of Ministers of State

Minister of State in the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region
Minister of state Portrait Political party Term Years
B. L. Verma Bharatiya Janata Party 7 July 2021 Incumbent 285 days

Northeast India connectivity projects

See also: Look-East Connectivity

Commerce with South and East Asian nations accounts for almost 45% of India's foreign trade.[9][10] Myanmar and ASEAN nations are part of India's Look East policy.[11][12][13] India is part of ASEAN+6, Asia Cooperation Dialogue, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Asian Clearing Union, Asian Development Bank, Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal Initiative, BIMSTEC, East Asia Summit, Mekong-Ganga Cooperation, SAARC, South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Asian Highway Network and the Trans-Asian Railway network.[14][15]

Major initiatives covered are Transport between India and Bangladesh, Bangladesh–India border, India-Myanmar barrier, Bhutan–India border, McMahon Line, etc.

Bridges

Roads

International roads

NE has 5,000 km border with Nepal, Bhutan, China, Bangladesh and Myanmar while being isolated and connected to rest of India by 20 km narrow chicken-neck Siliguri Corridor.[16]

Strategic National Highways (NH)

13,500 km were NH out of total 3,76,819 km of road length in NE (March 2012).[16]

Other roads

Railway

Air

Airports development

NER Airports.[40] The Indian government upgraded 12 non-operational airports into operational airports in NE (May 2017, work started on 8 airports in 2014).[41][42] LGBIA Guwahati will operate as the inter-regional hub and Agartala Airport, Dibrugarh Airport and Imphal Airport will operate as intra-regional hubs by extending runways and apron, and by building terminal building and maintenance hangars at these airports.[42] Three new greenfield under-construction airports are Itanagar Holangi Airport, Pakyong Airport-Operationalized (Sikkim) and Chiethu Airport (Nagaland).[42]

Airports development phase-I (fy2016-17 to fy2019-20)

Airports Authority of India (AAI) will spend 25,000 million (equivalent to 30 billion, US$390 million or €350 million in 2020) between 2018-2020, including the following will be completed by 2019-20 (c. Dec 2017):[43][44]

Airports development phase-II (fy2018-19 to -)

The central government will invest a further 80,000 million (equivalent to 95 billion, US$1.3 billion or €1.1 billion in 2020) to develop more NR airports.[44] Several advanced landing ground heliports will be upgraded to dual army-civilian airports.[44] This likely includes the following:[46][41][42]

Flights

Among airports in Northeast India, the following were connected under UDAN:

UDAN flights

UDAN Phase-I flights started at Shillong Airport, Dimapur Airport, Imphal International Airport, Silchar Airport, Lengpui Aizawl Airport and Agartala Airport.[44]

UDAN Phase-II flights started at TBA?

Other flights

2014-2017 NEC plan proposes to work towards starting the following flights:[16]

Waterways

International NE waterways

Inland National waterways in NE

Power

As of December 2017, 98,650 million (equivalent to 120 billion, US$1.5 billion or €1.4 billion in 2020) power transmission grid project approved in 2014 is being implemented of which 2,540 km lines already laid, and 16 hydro power projects of 5676 MW being implemented and additional 694 MW projects already implemented.[19][20]

Tourism

Projects include approval of 2,070 million (equivalent to 2.5 billion, US$32 million or €29 million in 2020) in 2016 to prevent erosion of world's largest riverine island of Majuli, development of Spiritual Circuit in Manipur, Tourist Circuit in Sikkim, Tribal Circuit in Nagaland and Umiam Lake in meghalaya (Dec 2017 update).[19][20]

Look-East Connectivity

See also: Northeast connectivity projects

Commerce with South and East Asian nations accounts for almost 45% of India's foreign trade.[9][10] Myanmar and ASEAN nations are part of India's Look East policy.[50][51][52] India is part of ASEAN+6, Asia Cooperation Dialogue, Asian Clearing Union, Asian Development Bank, Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal Initiative, BIMSTEC, East Asia Summit, Mekong-Ganga Cooperation, SAARC, South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Asian Highway Network and the Trans-Asian Railway network.[14][15]

Seaport development

See also Extreme points of India

India-Myanmar-China Stilwell Road revival

Main article: Stilwell Road

Discussions are also proceeding on reopening the World War II-era Stilwell Road linking India's Assam state with China's Yunnan province through Myanmar.[15]

India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway

India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway, also known as the East-West Economic Corridor,[53] is a 3,200 km (2,000 mi) from India to Vietnam highway under construction under India's Look East policy, that will connect Moreh, India with Mae Sot, Thailand via Myanmar.[54] It is AH1 of Asian Highway Network. The road is expected to boost trade and commerce in the ASEAN–India Free Trade Area, as well as with the rest of Southeast Asia. India has also proposed extending the highway to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.[55]

India and ASEAN have plans to extend this route to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam as this connectivity will generate annually, an estimated US$70 billion in incremental GDP and 20 million in incremental aggregate employment by 2025, and India has offered US$1 billion line-of-credit for this project (c. Dec 2017).[56]

Imphal-Moreh-Mandalay national highway upgrade

Imphal-Moreh-Mandalay Highway currently exists. In May 2017, the Indian Ministry of Road Transport and Highway stated that it would spend an estimated 7,500 million (equivalent to 8.9 billion or US$120 million in 2020) to upgrade roads and highways in North East India in order to boost the region's connectivity with Myanmar and Bangladesh. Among these projects, the Ministry plans to widen the 108 km (67 mi) Imphal-Moreh highway in Manipur which currently serves as an important trade route between India and Myanmar.[57] This would provide the Manipur's capital city of Imphal with direct access to the trilateral highway.[57]

Zokhawthar-Mandalay road strengthening

Mizoram-Kalemyo Highway is a road widening and strengthening project planned by India. In May 2017, the Indian Ministry of Road Transport also plans to construct a 120 km (75 mi) highway linking Zokhawthar-Rikhawdar (also called "Rih") near Champhai, a border town in Mizoram, with the trilateral highway at Kalemyo. This will serve as a second route providing direct connectivity from Mizoram to the trilateral highway.[57]

Mago-Thingbu to Vijaynagar Border Road

See also: Mago-Thingbu to Vijaynagar Border Road

The Mago-ThingbuVijaynagar Border Highway, also known as Arunachal Frontier Highway,[58] in Arunachal Pradesh India is a 2,000-kilometre-long (1,200 mi) road proposed to be built along the McMahon Line[59] (international border between India and China) by the Government of India at the cost of INR40,000 crore (approx. US$6.5 billion[22] as per 2014 prices).[23] Currently, along the alignment of this proposed road there is "little habitation" and there are only "small stretches of minor roads".[59] An assessment by the Ministry of Defence (India) in 2013 found that of the 503 stretches on the borders planned to be completed by 2022, only 17 were complete and work was underway on just 50.[citation needed] In 2014 October, Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs of India was trying to expedite the project along with another proposed highway East-West Industrial Corridor Highway, Arunachal Pradesh[58] in Arunachal Pradesh[23] as he said "I am proposing to undertake this road along with another in the foothill areas of Arunachal Pradesh state from Bhairabkunda in Assam located at the tri-junction of Bhutan, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to Ruksin in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh state which will serve as an industrial corridor for the people residing in the foothill areas of the state".[23]

Manipur-Mandalay bus service from 2018

Manipur-Mandalay bus service is pending subject to the signing of motor vehicle agreement. In September 2017, Indian ambassador to Myanmar announced that an Imphal-Mandalay India-Myanmar bus service will commence from 2018 after India and Myanmar sign the motor vehicle agreement.[60]

Imphal-Kalay-Mandalay flight

See also: UDAN

Imphal-Kalay-Mandalay flight is a proposed air service. In September 2017, Indian ambassador to Myanmar also proposed that a flight service from Imphal in Manipur to Mandalay via stopover in Kalay (Kalaymyo) in Sagaing Division of Myanmar could be started under UDAN regional connectivity scheme.[60] It was proposed to DoNER in 2012 and a successful trial run was conducted in December 2015.[61]

Tinsukia-Myitkyina railway

Myanmar railway map
Myanmar railway map

See also: Indian Railways and Myanmar Railways

Tinsukia-Myitkyina railway is a proposed new railway link between the existing rail stations at Tinsukia-Doom Dooma in Assam state of India and Myitkyina in Kachin State of Myanmar, by laying new rail track via Shin Bway Yang and Sumprabum. Indian Railways uses broad gauge (1,676 mm or 5 ft 6 in) and Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia use narrow gauge (1 meter). In December 2017, India offered a US$1 billion line of credit to build connections to ASEAN nations.[62]

Imphal-Kalaymyo railway

Imphal-Kalaymyo railway is a proposed new railway link between the existing rail stations at Imphal in Manipur of India and Kalay in Myanmar. Indian Railways uses broad gauge (1,676 mm or 5 ft 6 in) and Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia use narrow gauge (1 meter). In December 2017, India offered a US1 billion line of credit to build connections to ASEAN nations.[62]

Aizawl-Wuntho railway

Aizawl-Wuntho railway is a proposed new railway link between the existing railway station at Wuntho in Myanmar and by extending the under construction Bairabi–Sairang line via Aizawl-Champhai in Mizoram of India to Wuntho in Myanmar which currently goes further north up to Myitkyina towards China–Myanmar border. These are to be taken up with assistance of India's 1 billion line of credit for connections to ASEAN nations.[62]

Aizawl-Kalaymyo railway

Aizawl-Kalaymyo railway is a proposed new railway link between the existing railway station Kalay in Myanmar and by extending the under construction Bairabi–Sairang line via Aizawl-Champhai in Mizoram of India to Kalay in Myanmar. These are to be taken up with assistance of India's 1 billion line of credit for connections to ASEAN nations.[62]

Aizawl-Kyauktaw-Sittwe railway

Aizawl-Kyauktaw-Sittwe railway is a proposed new railway link between the existing Kyauktaw-Sittwe railway in Myanmar and by extending the under construction Bairabi–Sairang line via Aizawl-Lunglei-Lawngtlai in Mizoram of India to Sittwe Port in Myanmar developed by India. Kyauktaw to Minbu is an under construction railway to link Sittwe with the exiting Myanmar railway network. These are to be taken up with assistance of India's 1 billion line of credit for connections to ASEAN nations.[62]

India-Myanmar-Thailand railway

See also: Indian Railways and Thailand Railways

Thailand rail map
Thailand rail map

India-Myanmar-Thailand railway is a proposed new railway link, parts of which already exist, by constructing missing links between Aizawl and Imphal to Myanmar railway network and by linking existing railway lines in southern Myanmar to the Thailand rail network in 2 locations:

India-Myanmar-Thailand-Laos railway

See also: Indian Railways, Myanmar Railways, Thailand Railways, and Laos Railways

India-Myanmar-Thailand-Laos railway is a proposed new railway link, parts of which already exist, by constructing missing links between Aizawl and Imphal to Myanmar railway network and Myanmar-to-Thailand to connect railway in Laos. Laos only has one railway station in the whole nation, located 20 km east of Vientiane, that was built by State Railway of Thailand during 2007-09 by extending its metre-gauge network across the Thai–Lao Friendship Bridge from Thanaleng Railway Station in Thailand.[63] Test trains began running on July 4, 2008,[64] and Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand formally inaugurated the line on March 5, 2009.[65][66] There is also an under-construction (2017) Keng Tung railway line in east Myanmar that can be extended to Laos in future.

Laos-Vietnam railway: In 2012, an agreement for the construction of 220-kilometre $5 billion line, from Savannakhet in south Laos to Port of Vũng Ang in Vietnam, via Mụ Giạ Pass and Tan Ap (intersects Vietnam railway network), was awarded to a Malaysian company "Giant Consolidated Limited" to complete the construction from 2013 to 2017.[67][68] By December 2016, installation of corridor posts along the proposed railway right-of-way was completed.[69] In future, Savannakhet is planned to be connected to the existing railway in Thailand at Khon Kaen or Ubon Ratchathani.

India-Myanmar-Thailand-Cambodia railway

See also: Indian Railways, Myanmar Railways, Thailand Railways, and Cambodia Railways

Cambodia railway map

India-Myanmar-Thailand-Cambodia railway link is a proposed new railway link, parts of which already exist, by constructing missing links between Aizawl and Imphal to Myanmar railway network, to Thailand, to Combodia to connect the rail network in Cambodia. Cambodia has existing rail link with Thailand at Poipet (Krong Poi Pet), though train services is currently suspended (2017).

India-Myanmar-Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam railway

See also: Indian Railways, Myanmar Railways, Thailand Railways, Cambodia Railways, and Vietnam Railways

Vietnam railway map
Vietnam railway map

India-Myanmar-Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam railway is a proposed new railway link, parts of which already exist, by constructing missing links between Aizawl and Imphal to Myanmar railway network, to Thailand, to Combodia to connect Vietnam Railways. Cambodia has existing rail link with Thailand at Poipet (Krong Poi Pet) though train services is currently suspended (2017) and Phnom Penh-Hoa Lu-Dĩ An connection with Vietnam is under construction (2017), while there is no current or planned rail connection to Laos. Indian Railways uses broad gauge (1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)) and Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia use meter gauge (1,000 mm (3 ft 3+38 in)).

India-Myanmar-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore railway

See also: Indian Railways, Thailand Railways, and Trans-Asian Railway

Malaysia railway map

India-Myanmar-Thailand-Malaysia-Singapore railway is a proposed new railway link as part of the Trans-Asian Railway, parts of which already exist, by using existing metre-gauge connections of Thai railway network to railway network in Malaysia (at Palang Besar in north west and Tumpat in north east Malaysia) and Kuala Lumpur–Singapore high-speed rail (being constructed between 2017-26[70]). Two rail crossings along the Malaysian-Thai border are:

India-Bangladesh Sabroom-Cox Bazar railway

Bangladesh railway map
Bangladesh railway map

This will extend the existing Sabroom in south Tripura on the border of Bangladesh to Khagrachari-Rangamati-Bandarban district headquarters in the tribal areas of Chittagong Hill Tracts, joining the existing Chittagong-Satkania track at Satkania and proceeding further on the new track to the Cox's Bazar which is one of the official port for transit to India.

India-Bangladesh Baraiya-Zokhawtar railway

This will extend the existing Sabroom in south Tripura on the border of Bangladesh to Baraiya (southwest Tripura)-Chaggalnaiya (Bangladesh)-Manu Bazar (South Tripura)-Sabroom-Khargachari-Magrum-Nunsri Lunglei-Aizawl-Zokhawtar-Kalemo.

India-Bangladesh Bandarban-Tuiping railway

Route for this will be Bandarban (Bangladesh)-Tuiping (Mizoram)-Niawhtlang (Mizoram-Burma border)-Gangaw (Myanmar).

India-Bangladesh Shillong-Sylhet railway

Route for this will be Shillong and Dawki in India to Sylhet in Bangladesh.

India-Bangladesh Dhubri-Jaria railway

Route for this will be Dhubri, Tura, Barengapara and Durgapur in India to Jaria in Bangladesh.

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