New Kid on the Hinterland Block
With a distinct advantage of being strategically located with access to the traditional domestic market, adjacent countries and also being a vantage entry point for the South-east Asian markets, this region is now the hot zone for infrastructure, connecti
With a distinct advantage of being strategically located with access to the traditional domestic market, adjacent countries and also being a vantage entry point for the South-east Asian markets, this region is now the hot zone for infrastructure, connectivity and cargo movement.
It wouldn’t be despicable to agree upon the fact that development and prosperity of a region depends on its connectivity to the outer world and within its own territory. One such region which was badly in need of an infrastructure makeover was the north eastern states of India often referred as seven sister states which pose herculean logistics challenges to move cargo even from the rest of India. But at the same time these states (Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh) also hold the key to open up greater trade opportunities with neighboring countries and with ASEAN.
Topography of the North East:
The only connecting point for north eastern states to the rest of the country is a narrow strip of circuitous landmass called as the Siliguri Corridor or the Chicken’s Neck through which the surface transport takes place. Through this route of about 200-odd kms cargo movement takes place from the north eastern states to major trade hubs like Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts in West Bengal and to rest of India. It is the reason why Siliguri apart from Guwahati, is a hub for truckers, and plays an important role in surface transportation in the hinterland. No other region of India shares their borders with the number of countries as the seven states do, for example Meghalaya has 443 km stretch of border with Bangladesh, Assam has 263 km border with Bangladesh, and 267 km with Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh has 217 km border along Bhutan, 1080 km with China, and 520 km with Myanmar. Similarly Nagaland has 215 km border along Myanmar, Manipur has 398 km border along Myanmar, Mizoram has 318 km border along Bangladesh and 510 km along Myanmar, and Tripura has 856 km international border along Bangladesh. Hence, these states with improved connectivity hold the key to greater market access to the neighborhood and far east.
Transit mode, cargo mapping and future growth:
While the hilly terrain poses a challenge to the land movement of goods, at the same time abundant river resources, particularly the mighty Brahmaputra offer alternate modes of cargo movement through river. National Waterway No. 2 (NW2) is