[Assam] NEC to set up dedicated airlines for NE region

Pradip Kumar Datta pradip200 at yahoo.com
Sat May 19 23:09:48 PDT 2007

NEC to set up dedicated airlines for NE region
  AIZAWL, May 19 – The North Eastern Council (NEC) today endorsed the recommendations of the Sidhu Committee and decided to set up a dedicated airlines for the North East. 

“We believe that the decision will put an end to the single most important infrastructural obstacle in the way of development of the region,” Union DoNER (Department of North East Region) Minister Mani Shankar Aiyer told a press conference after the conclusion of the sectoral summit on air connectivity here. 

The Committee was constituted last year under the chairmanship of Manipur Governor S S Sidhu, who was earlier the Civil Aviation secretary, to recommend measures to strengthen air connectivity in the Northeastern region. 

The annoncement on setting up of the dedicated airlines for the North East is expected on the Independence Day this year, he said and hoped that following the decision the region would have up to 50 airports and airstrips by the end of the 11th Plan. 

NEC, he said, would be able ensure 600 flights a week in the region connecting all the State capitals and other important centres. 

Asked to elaborate on the decision, he said, a public notice would be issued and selection would be made from the bidding airlines after examination of technical and financial bids. 

On the issue of redefining the role of NEC, Aiyar said he would form a committee under the chairmanship of the secretary to the Ministry of DoNER, Sushma Singh and the report would be placed before the 55th plenary session of NEC to be held in New Delhi in November. 

The proposal of Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar to make eradication of poverty in the North East the theme of the next plenary session of NEC was adopted at the meeting, he said. 

He also announced that the Thailand Commerce Minister accompanied by a team of high ranking officials would visit the region in June. 

He hoped that the visit would be the beginning of FDI in the region on areas like natural rubber, orchids, road construction, inland waterways, handicraft and handlooms – specially based on silk products. – PTI
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