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PM: Mizoram will be power-surplus

Narendra Modi at the inauguration of the hydroelectric power project in Aizawl on Saturday. (PTI)

Aizawl: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday asked Mizoram to pledge to become a carbon-neutral and organic state by 2022.

"The Northeast, including Mizoram, can become carbon-neutral like neighbouring Bhutan. We must take a pledge to make Mizoram carbon-negative by 2022, when the country celebrates its 75th Independence Day. It can become the new identity of the Northeast. The states can also follow the example of Sikkim, which is fully organic. The Centre will provide all help," he said at a programme to dedicate the 60MW Tuirial hydoelectric project to the nation at Lammual ground here.

The Prime Minister said Mizoram would become the third power-surplus state in the Northeast after Sikkim and Tripura with the commissioning of the project. "It is a reflection of our commitment to complete ongoing projects and usher in a new era of development in the region," Modi said.

He also announced Rs 90,000 crore for improving roads and national highways in the Northeast in the next two to three years to facilitate better connectivity. The project will boost eco-tourism and provide drinking water supply, he said.

"The state has hydropower potential of 2,100MW, of which we have tapped only a fraction. There is no reason to stop Mizoram from becoming a net power exporter. We will invest close to Rs 10,000 crore for a comprehensive improvement in the power transmission system in the northeastern states," Modi said.

The Prime Minister said his government is betting on the skills and strengths of India's youth. "We believe in 'empower through enterprise', creating the right ecosystem for innovation and enterprise to flourish so our land is home to the next big ideas that can transform humanity," he said.

He said his government was proactively following the Act East Policy and Mizoram stands to gain from it.

"The high literacy rate, scenic beauty and a large English-speaking population in Mizoram make for a perfect blend to develop the state as a model tourist destination," the Prime Minister said. He invited the people to work with the government to make the state a top tourist destination.

Modi said football can become Mizoram's global identity and said there are many other prominent sportspersons who have brought glory to the state and the country, including Olympian archer C. Lalremsanga, pugilist Jenny Lalremliani, weightlifter Lalchhanhimi and hockey player Lalruatfeli.

Chief minister Lal Thanhawla said Mizoram, one of the most peaceful and cleanest states, was doing its best to compete with other states.

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