SHILLONG, Dec 01: The North East Dialogue Forum (NEDF) has asked the central government to spell out both the positive and negative impacts on the people of the North East region if the Act East Policy is implemented.
In a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently, the NEDF said, “We need facts and figures, long termed and short termed gains and loss with specifics. We are extremely concerned and so we anticipate an early response from you.”
Stating the Centre has taken several initiatives and action to implement the Act East Policy which include business, trade etc with South East Asian countries like China, Japan and others, the Forum also wanted to know whether the people of the region have been taken into confidence in this regard and asked, “…or does your Government take things for granted by giving sops and having State Governments on your side due to their being part of your political alliance?”
It also questioned the impact both positive and negative - of such undertakings on the people of the North East region which include Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura in term of social, economic and political.
The Forum also asked the Centre to clarify on the construction of mega dams for hydel power projects to generate electricity beyond the needs of the people of the region besides step taken to mitigate climate change.
It also raised concern with regards to carrying out extractive industries by way of mining of mineral resources including atomic minerals viz. uranium, plutonium, thorium thereby accelerating radiation hazards beyond the natural permissible limit.
Questioning on how will implementation of this policy usher in lasting holistic and integral development of the peoples of the region, the Forum said, “…or will we simply be pawns in the broker’s shop and the moot question is “Who pays and who gains?”