Inaugurating the Shillong-Nongstoin-Rongjeng-Tura road project here in Meghalaya, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday stressed the need for connectivity to ensure development in the north-eastern region (NE).
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and Public Works Department (Roads) Minister, Martin M. Danggo, who received Modi at the advanced landing ground in Upper Shillong, however, did not attend the inauguration of the road project.
After inaugurating the road project, where invited journalists were not allowed to cover the ceremony, Modi said the road would boost economic activity and establish a direct link between the important towns of the state -- Shillong and Tura.
Noting that his government's motto was "Transformation by transportation", Modi said the National Highway Infrastructure Corporation Ltd wouls construct 400-Km road in Meghalaya with an outlay of Rs 5,700 crore.
The Prime Minister also announced that his government had released around Rs 470 crore under the Pradhan Manti Gram Sadak Yojana to construct 700-km road connecting over 100 villages.
Modi also announced that Rs 180 crore had been earmarked for the expansion of Shillong airport.
He said the road project should be completed within one-and-half years and added that Meghalaya should benefit from Udan scheme as flights from Umroi airport would fly to other cities of the North East.
Modi said that 19,000 families in Meghalaya had availed benefits the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana for providing LPG.
He said the government was executing 15 new rail lines stretch over nearly 14,000 km at an estimated cost of Rs 47,000 crore and boost infrastructure in the north-eastern states.
Stating that his government wanted to make Meghalaya a top tourism destination, the Prime Minister said the central government had sanctioned around Rs 100 crore for development of tourist destinations in the state.
Naming few famous sports personalities from Meghalaya, including India's star footballer Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Modi recalled the successful hosting of the 12th South Asian Games by Meghalaya and Assam, and expressed joy over Meghalaya getting to host the National Games in 2022 when the state would celebrate its golden jubilee.
"In 2022, the nation will complete 75 years of Independence. This will also be the year when Meghalaya will complete 50 years of its formation. Seventy-five years of Independence, 50 years of formation and then the National Games. This is an excellent opportunity for the state to make new oaths," the Prime Minister said.