Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has requested the Centre to create new waterways between the state and Bangladesh to boost trade and tourism in the northeastern region, an official said on Sunday.
"If new waterways are created between Tripura and Bangladesh, the state would be the gateway for the entire northeastern region and adjoining areas. The proposed waterway project using the Gomati river must be expedited," the official said quoting Deb from the NITI Aayog meeting in New Delhi on Saturday.
He said in order to boost tourism in the state, the Union Tourism Ministry might help construct ropeways connecting the historic "Matabari" Tripura Sundari Temple and Chhabimura, the mountain wall on the banks of Gomati famous for its rock sculptures.
Deb also demanded more financial support from the Centre's PSUs and autonomous bodies Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) fund for creation of new infrastructure in the northeast.
"The public sector companies and undertakings should be allowed to spend at least 10 per cent of their CSR funds in the northeastern states. This will help in early implementation of 'HIRA' (Highways, Inland Waterways, Railways and Airways), the grand initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The initiative would not only boost tourism but also many other sectors in the region," he added.
The Chief Minister also asked for amending of the existing aviation guidelines to facilitate private operators to increase flight frequency to the Northeast.
Asserting that Tripura was a flood-prone state, he also demanded an increase in the State Disaster Response Fund from the existing Rs 38 crore at present.