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

Maritime Gateway - - Contents - by Sisir Prad­han

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.