Centre helped NE states during Covid, says DoNER Minister

Development of North East Region (DoNER) Minister G. Kishan Reddy on Tuesday said that the Union government has extended all possible help to the northeastern states during the Covid pandemic.

Replying to the debate on the Demands for Grants for his ministry, he said that the government has spent Rs 25,589 crore on the north east health sector since 2014, including Rs 548 crore given by the DoNER Ministry while it also supported 66 special health projects at the cost of Rs 125 crore.

Responding to a question on digital connectivity in the region, Reddy said that the government has spent Rs 466 crore to increase digital connectivity wherein 4,404 new towers have been constructed to increase the mobile connectivity cover.

The government has decided to open the National Sports University in Manipur and detailed out the sporting achievements made by the northeast region in the national and international events including Olympics.

Noting that peace and stability are the fundamental requirements for development, Reddy said that the region is witnessing a large infrastructure development and after 2014, the entire region has witnessed sharp declines in insurgency-related incidents.

Giving the numbers of the insurgents who surrendered, he said that 2,696 extremists surrendered in 2014 while there has been a sharp decline in kidnappings. In 2014, the number of kidnappings was 369 which was reduced to 69 in 2020.

Claiming that there has been no blockade or curfew in the region, he also said that for better connectivity, 121 tunnels are being constructed for railways in the region.

He also said that before 2014, rail connectivity was limited to Guwahati and Dibrugarh (Assam) and post-2014, railways has reached Tripura, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh.

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