India Has Big Plans for Northeast Roads

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July 3 – Trying to buffer India's borders with infrastructure, the national government on Wednesday issued a statement that the country would invest US$7.2 billion to build transport infrastructure in India's northeast by 2012.

A Bloomberg report stated that India plans to invest about 310 billion rupees (US$7.2 billion) by 2012 to build roads in the nation's northeast, improving connectivity with the states bordering China, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan.

The government will also build airports and railway links to all state capitals of the region, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, inviting private investment in the region.

"Infrastructure deficiency remains a major concern of the government," Singh said in New Delhi today, while releasing the Vision 2020 document for the region. "Our government has made connectivity and infrastructure the cornerstone of regional development in the northeast."

The states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura are included in the "special category of states," as they are economically and socially underdeveloped. Insurgency and poor market access have kept away private investment from the area.