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First Passenger Train to Meghalaya Flagged Off; New Schemes for North-East
Dec 04, 2014

Meghalaya came on the country's rail map more than six decades after independence when Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first train to the north-eastern state. The first passenger train to Meghalaya will run between Mendipathar to Guwahati. He also laid the foundation stone of a board gauge railway line from Bhairabi to Sairang in Mizoram.

Narendra Modi favoured privatisation of railway stations. He said railway facilities are the same as they were 100 years back. Privatise the railway stations and modernise them.  At a time when real estate is very expensive, railway should leverage its properties by allowing private parties to build luxury hotels, restaurants and other facilities.

He said said the Indian Railways have the potential to become the backbone of the country's economic activity. We will not be happy in just adding one coach or upgrading one station. We want both horizontal and vertical development of the railways. It can become the engine of Indian economy. The government has already allowed 100 percent foreign direct investment to completely modernise the railway transportation in the country.

He added the government has decided to open four railway universities in the four corners of the country where all aspects of railway service will be taught. Railway can be a mode of eco-friendly mass transportation, which will be India's contribution to contain global warming.  Infrastructure is the most important factor to develop North-East. If we want to develop India, we have to develop North East.

Narendra Modi said the Centre will allocate Rs 28,000 crore for the establishment of 14 new railway lines in the North-East.

Second Unit of Palatana Thermal Power Plant Commissioned:

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the second unit of ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC) powered 750MW gas-driven Palatana power project.

ONGC, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) and Tripura government jointly launched ONGC Tripura Power Co Ltd (OTPC) to set up the Rs 10,000-crore Palatana power plant in Gomati district, which would supply power to Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Tripura. Assam would get 240 MW of electricity, followed by Tripura (196 MW), Meghalaya (79 MW), Manipur (42 MW), Nagaland (27 MW), Mizoram (22 MW) and Arunachal Pradesh (22 MW).

Narendra Modi announced that India is ready to sell 100MW of electricity to Bangladesh.

New Schemes:

The Prime Minister announced scholarships for students from the North-East saying that 10,000 students will be beneficiaries of the same. He also announced a new scheme to help students and teachers gain exposure at premier educational institutes like the IITs. He also announced that apparel manufacturing centres would be set up in each of the eight North-East states starting with Assam, Nagaland and Sikkim.


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