Agartala: President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said that India, under the "Act East" policy, has undertaken direct road links with southeast Asian nations to boost connectivity.
"The Indian government under the 'Act East" policy, is carrying out various projects and schemes. Under the policy, direct road links are being developed with Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and other countries of southeast Asia to boost connectivity," he said after dedicating the 73-km National Highway from Matabari to Sabroom in southern Tripura to the nation.
Kovind said after the completion of the under-construction bridge over river Feni, the Matabari-Sabroom portion of NH-8 would link Tripura directly by road with Bangladesh, and also help the northeastern states get access the Chittagong sea port.
Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy and Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who accompanied the President, also addressed the function
The National Highway-8, connecting Tripura with the rest of the country via Assam and Meghalaya, has been extended up to the border town of Sabroom, from which Chittagong is just 72 km away.
Kovind said after the partition of India, the distance between Tripura and Kolkata had risen to 1,700 km via Indian territory from the 600-700 km via the then East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.
"Through the under construction Agartala-Akhaura (Bangladesh) rail link, northeast India would be connected with Bangladesh railway network. With the development of road and rail links, both northeast India and Bangladesh would be benefited immensely."
The President, accompanied by his wife Savita Kovind, arrived on his maiden visit to Tripura on Thursday and attended a series of events in southern Tripura and Agartala.
He stressed that the development of northeast is a top priority for the Central government.
"In the northeast region, 5,200 km roads are being constructed by the Central government. Development and upgradation of National Highways of the region are going on under the programme of Bharatmala Pariyojana," he said
The President also said that there is a huge scope of development of tourism in Tripura and other northeastern states.
"Through tourism, economic development would also be achieved. With the rail and road development, tourism would also be further developed helping the economy of the region."
Kovind said that for the all round development of the tribals, the Central government has undertaken many schemes including setting up of the National Bamboo Mission.
He said that Tripura's Somdev Devvarman, Dipa Karmakar, Laxmita Reang, Souravi Debbarman and others have earned national and international recognitions and they are the role model for other talented sports and cultural personalities.
The President also laid the foundation stone for the re-development of Matabari Temple (Tripura Sundari Temple) complex in Udaipur, 55 km south of Agartala.
Kovind, accompanied by his wife, offered puja at the Tripura Sundari Temple. The 517-years-old temple is one of the 51 holiest 'Shaktipeeths' (shrine of the goddess of power) in India as per Hindu mythology.