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Saffron bowl of India extends to North East

The saffron bowl, which was so far confined to Kashmir, may soon expand to the North East of India. 

Plants from seeds transported from Kashmir to Sikkim and acclimatized there are now flowering in Yangyang in the Southern part of the North-East state, a government release issued today informed.

Saffron production has long been restricted to a limited geographical area in the Union territory of Jammu & Kashmir. Pampore region, in India, commonly known as Saffron bowl of Kashmir, is the main contributor to saffron production, followed by Budgam, Srinagar, and Kishtiwar districts. 

Saffron has traditionally been associated with the famous Kashmiri cuisine. It's medicinal values were considered as part of the rich cultural heritage of Kashmir. As saffron growing was confined to very specific areas in Kashmir, its production remained limited. Though the National Mission on Saffron focused on several measures to improve its farming, the measures were still limited to the specified areas of Kashmir.

North East Centre For Technology Application and Reach (NECTAR), an autonomous body under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India supported a pilot project to explore the feasibility of growing saffron in North East region of India, with the same quality and higher quantity.

The Botany and Horticulture department of Sikkim Central University carried out tests to understand the soil and actual pH conditions of Yangyang of Sikkim and found it comparable to saffron growing places of Kashmir. Saffron seed/corms were purchased and air transported from Kashmir to Yangyang site by the department. One saffron grower was engaged and stationed to look after the complete growing process, along with the faculty of the university.

The corms were irrigated during the month of September and October, which ensured timely corm sprouting and good flower yields. The matching of climatic and geographical conditions between Pampore (Kashmir) and Yangyang (Sikkim) led to the successful sample farming of Saffron in Yangyang.

The project also focused on post-harvest management and value addition of saffron so that quality saffron drying and efficient post-harvest processing can improve saffron recovery, thereby improving its production.

Further, detailed analysis and testing of all parameters, including soil testing, quality, quantity, and possible value addition are planned, for immediate results and extrapolation of the project to other parts of the North East Region along with Micro Food Enterprises.

#NorthEast #Saffron

Rajdhani special train enters North-East's biggest state

The first-ever Rajdhani special train has started its operations in Assam. 

In a tweet posted today, Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal said, "New era of Rail connectivity has dawned in North-East India with the first-ever Rajdhani special train starting its operations via the Bogibeel bridge in Assam on 12th Oct 2020. This will strengthen the rail network in the region & also connect it directly with New Delhi."

The special train, bearing number 02505, covers the Dibrugarh-New Delhi route, and has halts at important stations like North Lakhimpur, Harmuti and Rangapara. 

#Assam #NorthEast #IndianRailways

Transport ministry enhances allocation of funds for SARDP-NE related works

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has enhanced the allocation of funds for expenditure under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in North Eastern Areas (SARDP-NE) related works during the current financial year, a government press release issued today stated.

Under the revised allocation, against the earlier Rs 390 crore expenditure envisaged to be incurred from National Investment Fund during 2020-21, a sum of Rs 760 crore has been set aside for the same period. Of this, Rs 300 crore is specifically marked for Arunachal Pradesh package.

Under SARDP-NE (Phase –A and Arunachal Pradesh), 6418 km (5998 km actual design length) has already been identified for development at an estimated investment of about Rs.30,450 crore, out of which 3356 km has been completed and 1961 km is under construction, the release added.

#MinistryofRoadTransportandHighways #NorthEast

Union Home Minister calls for developing Northeast as tourism, business destination

Union Home Minister Amit Shah today called for making the Northeast a tourism and industry hub and an IT and organic farming hub to increase the Northeast's participation in the country's GDP by 2024 and make it an important part of the Government of India's Act East policy. 

Mr Shah inaugurated the "Destination North East -2020" through video conferencing today. The Union Home Minister is also the Chairman of the North-East Council. On this occasion, Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region Development (I/C) Dr Jitendra Singh and Chief Ministers of the eight North Eastern States were also present. 

In his address, the Home Minister said that that after Independence, the Northeast used to have 20 per cent share in the GDP of the country but now it has come down drastically. 

He said, "North East, rich in natural beauty, folk culture and art, is fully capable of becoming a major centre of world tourism." He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the North East region will emerge as one of the favourite tourism and business destinations of India. 

The Union Home Minister said that development is not possible without proper funds. "Earlier, plans were made for the development of North-East but the amount allocated for them was very less. The 14th Finance Commission increased the allocation for the Northeast by 251 per cent to Rs 3,13,375 crore," Mr Shah said.  

Mr Shah also said, "Adopting an all-inclusive and all-encompassing model of development, Modi Government has decided to spend 21 per cent of the budget of the North-East Council on the backward districts, villages and deprived communities."

Speaking about the calendar event 'Destination North East-2020', the Union Home Minister said that the event, which runs till 30th of September, aims to introduce various cultures of the country to each other along with the tourist destinations of the North East and through this the whole of India will also get familiar with the vibrant and diverse culture of the North East.  

Destination North East is a calendar event of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region conceptualized with the objective of taking the North East Region to other parts of the country and bringing them closer together in order to strengthen national integration. For Destination North East 2020, the theme is "The Emerging Delightful Destinations" which speaks of the tourism destinations emerging stronger and more attractive when the Sector picks up momentum. 

#AmitShah #IndianEconomy #NorthEast

78 New Routes Approved Under UDAN 4.0, focus on North East

78 new routes under the 4th round of Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)- UdeDesh Ka AamNagrik (UDAN) have been approved following three successful rounds of bidding by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, an official statement said today.

This will further enhance the connectivity to remote and regional areas of the country. The North Eastern Region, Hilly States and Islands have been given priority in the approval process for the new routes.

Special boost is being given to connectivity in North East with routes from Guwahati to Tezu, Rupsi, Tezpur, Passighat, Misa and Shillong. People will be able to fly from Hissar to Chandigarh, Dehradun and Dharmshala under these UDAN 4 routes. Routes from Varanasi to Chitrakoot and Shravasti have also been approved. Agatti, Kavaratti and Minicoy islands of Lakshadweep have also been connected by the new routes of UDAN 4.0.

So far, 766 routes have been sanctioned under the UDAN scheme.

#UDAN4.0 #MinistryofCivilAviation #NorthEast #UDAN

Women from Northeast tie Rakhi on Jawans posted in J&K

As a mark of respect and love on the eve of Raksha Bandhan today, women from the northeast tied rakhi on Jawans of the armed and paramilitary forces, who are deployed in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.

#Ladakh #RakshaBandhan #ArmedForces #IndianArmy #ParamilitaryForces #NorthEast #JammuandKashmir #Jawans

Ease in movement of goods in NE

A historic milestone in India-Bangladesh connectivity & economic partnership. First ever container cargo from Kolkata reaches Agartala via Chattogram port.

#Tripura #Chattogram #Bangladesh #Kolkata #NorthEast

Bamboo sector has potential to be main pillar of ecological, medicinal, paper, building sectors in India: Union Minister Jitendra Singh

The bamboo sector can be the main pillar of ecological, medicinal, paper and building sectors in India, stated Union Minister Jitendra Singh while addressing a webinar today with various clusters of Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre (CBTC), stake-holders and people associated with bamboo trade. He also said that Bamboo is going to be an important component of India post-COVID-19 economy and propel the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan in the North Eastern Region.

#JitendraSingh #AtmanirbharBharat #CaneandBambooTechnologyCentre #Bamboo #NorthEast