Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that the government was aiming to make the North-East a gateway to South-East Asia and was making huge investments for the overall development of the region.
Addressing the centenary celebrations of Bharat Sevashram Sangha in Shillong through video conferencing, the Prime Minister, however, expressed concern that lack of cleanliness could hamper this dream.
He said that North-East will fail to cross the gateway of the country's development if it is unclean, illiterate or disbalanced.
Modi pointed out that there is no reason for any region to remain backward or poor with all the resources.
The Prime Minister lamented that only Gangtok had found a place among the first 50 clean cities, out of the 12 cities surveyed from the region.
Stressing that cleanliness was a major challenge for everyone in the region, he asked the people and organisations like the Sangha to join hands with the state governments and their agencies in the cleanliness campaign.
Modi also observed that there has not been balanced development in the entire North-East. He said that his government's major thrust is on improving connectivity and developing the entire region for tourism purposes.
While an investment of Rs 40,000 crore is being made to improve the road infrastructure in the region, 19 big railway projects have also been started.
The Prime Minister said that government was also improving the electricity situation in the North-East and trying to bring even more tourists.
Announcing that the North-East would soon be connected with UDAN scheme, he said that small airports were also being developed in the region.