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QUESTION NO.3514 LOOK EAST AGENDA

August 08, 2018

LOK SABHA
USTARRED QUESTION NO.3514
TO BE ANSWERED ON 08.08.2018


LOOK EAST AGENDA

3514. SHRI SIRAJUDDIN AJMAL:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) the present status of the Look East Agenda for the North Eastern Region;

(b) the details of funds allocated and the number of projects under the said agenda till date; and

(c) the future targets under the said agenda?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)
]

(a) India’s Look East Policy has been a major pillar of our foreign policy since the early 1990s. In the second half of 2014, India announced the transformation of Look East Policy to Act East Policy. Act East Policy focuses on strengthening relations with India’s extended neighbourhood in the Indo-Pacific Region. The Policy which was originally conceived as an economic initiative, has gained political, strategic and cultural dimensions.

One of the main Priorities of India’s Act East Policy is to enhance connectivity between North Eastern Region of India and the countries neighbouring North Eastern Region. To this effect, steady efforts are being made to strengthen connectivity between North Eastern Region of India and countries neighbouring North Eastern Region through physical infrastructure, trade as also people-to-people contacts.

(b) & (c) Government of India constantly engages with all stakeholders including Chief Ministers of North Eastern Region to review the ongoing projects and to seek inputs on future requirement.

Government is implementing the following projects under grant assistance that will, upon completion, enhance connectivity between North Eastern states of India and Countries neighbouring North Eastern Region:

(i) The Trilateral Highway Project

The Trilateral Highway Project starts from Moreh (Manipur) in India to Mae Sot in Thailand through Bagan in Myanmar. In this regard, Government of India is undertaking construction of 69 Bridges including Approach Roads in the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa Road Section of Myanmar at the cost of Rs. 371.58 crore and construction/ upgradation of 120.74 kms road from Kalewa to Yargi in Myanmar at the cost of Rs. 1459.29 crore.

(ii) Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project in Myanmar

Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project in Myanmar will create a multi-modal transport corridor for shipment of cargo from the eastern ports of India to Myanmar as well as North-Eastern Region of India to Myanmar. The project includes a waterway component of 158 km on Kaladan River from Sittwe to Paletwa in Myanmar and a road component of 109 km from Paletwa to Zorinpui on the India-Myanmar border in Mizoram State at a total cost of Rs. 2904.04 crore. Works under original waterways component have been completed in May 2017. The rest of the work is under progress.

(iii) Akhaura-Agartala rail link project

The Akhaura-Agartala rail link project at the total cost of Rs. 972.52 crore under implementation will connect Agartala (Tripura) with the main Dhaka-Chittagong rail line in Bangladesh.

(iv) Dredging of Rivers

India and Bangladesh signed an MoU on 8 April 2017 wherein it has been decided that the Ashuganj – Zakiganj stretch (309 km) of Kushiyara river and Sirajganj – Daikhowa stretch (146 km) of Jamuna river in the India-Bangladesh protocol route will be developed for round the year navigation. It will facilitate round the year navigation on these routes and also help strengthen the link between National Waterways-1 and National Waterway-2 in India to waterways of Bangladesh. The cost of the project would be Rs. 245 crore.

(v) Construction of bridge over river Feni

Feni bridge is proposed on river Feni on the Tripura-Bangladesh border. Once completed, the bridge will connect Tripura to Bangladesh through Sabroom (Tripura, India) – Ramgarh (Khagrachari District, Bangladesh). The location of the bridge is around 100 km from Chittagong. The cost of the project would be Rs. 82.57 crore.

The following projects under line of credit to Bangladesh are expected to improve connectivity between North Eastern States and Bangladesh:

(i) Rehabilitation of the railway track

Rehabilitation of the railway track from Shabazpur to Kulaura (about 45 Km) in Bangladesh will establish railway connectivity between Karimganj/Mahisasan (Assam, India) – Shahbazpur (Bangladesh). The line of credit component for this project is USD 78.10 million (approximately Rs. 523 crores).

(ii) Road project for improved connectivity

The road in Bangladesh connecting Ashuganj River Port-Sarail-Darkhar-Akhaura Land Port Road will be upgraded to 4 lane National Highway. This will strengthen connectivity between Bangladesh and Tripura border. The line of credit component for this project is USD 283.66 million (approximately Rs. 1896 crores).

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