NE states seek better connectivity

New Delhi, June 27 (PTI) The northeastern states today sought better connectivity to the region, saying improving road, rail and air links to the region would help boost the economic growth. At the 61st Plenary of the North Eastern Council, a regional planning body, a number of chief ministers and governors of the NE states said improving connectivity was key to socio-economic growth of the region. The need to have small helipads for helicopters were highlighted by a number of members as road connectivity is very poor in hilly regions, officials said. The meeting passed a proposal to develop a "hub" each in in Guwahati and Imphal for parking big aircraft. The meeting was chaired by Union Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region Paban Singh Ghatowar. The meeting expressed satisfaction over performance of NEC in implementing various infrastructure projects. For the Financial year 2011-12, of the total budget allocation of Rs 700 crore, NEC had released Rs 693 crore for various projects. Officials said a number of inter-state tourist circuits have been finalised for taking up in the first phase of the implementation of the tourism master plan, finalised earlier. The need for attracting investment, both private and government, and improving power generation in the northeast region were also discussed in the meeting, they said.