US keen to help northeast India tap its potential


Agartala : The United States is willing to help northeast India utilise its potential and wants the region’s capabilities to be harnessed for its economic development, a diplomatic official said here.

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“Northeastern states of India have tremendous potentiality of natural and human resources. These capabilities must be utilised for the economic development of the backward region,” US Consul for Political and Economic Affairs Clinton S. Tad Brown told reporters.

He said: “Primary responsibility to use US government’s (assistance)…lies with the Indian and state government concerned.”

The Kolkata-based US diplomat, who is on a two-day tour to the northeastern region, addressed the National Institutes of Technology (NIT) in Agartala and Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI) University.

Brown said US ambassador to India Timothy J. Roemer has been focusing on US investments and collaborations in northeast India.

“For example, the US-based General Electric (GE) would provide the all important turbine to the 726-MW thermal power project in southern Tripura,” he said, adding that such collaborations can be executed in many projects.

The state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation’s (ONGC) is now commissioning first major commercial gas based power project in south Tripura’s Palatana, about 65-km south of capital city Agartala. The plant is expected to be operational by March 2012.

“The US government is strongly hopeful that India-Bangladesh economic and trade integration would help each other for further enlargement of business in many areas.

“Use of Chittagong international port and establishment of new rail link between the two neighbours would boost the trade and economic activities and increase people to people contact,” said Brown and added: “This part of India can deliver many things to the rest of the country and world.”

He said that during US President Barack Obama’s visit to India in November, New Delhi and Washington would discuss utilising traditional and renewable energy and climate change among other vital issues.

He added: “Greener technologies are the future of the world as it can be seen from the present climatic scenario. Scientists and engineers should come up with better options of clean technologies since this is what is very essential for the entire world.”