10756 words Northeast India - Wikipedia

Northeast India (officially North Eastern Region, NER) is the easternmost region of India representing both a geographic and political administrative division of the country. It comprises eight statesArunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.[2] The region shares an international border of 5182 kilometres (3220 mi) (about 99 percent of its total geographical boundary) with several neighbouring countries – 1395 kilometres (867 mi) with Tibet Autonomous Region, China in the north, 1640 kilometres (1020 mi) with Myanmar in the east, 1596 kilometres (992 mi) with Bangladesh in the south-west, 97 kilometres (60 mi) with Nepal in the west, and 455 kilometres (283 mi) with Bhutan in the north-west.[3] It comprises an area of 262230 square kilometres (101250 sq mi), almost 8 percent of that of India.

Northeast India
North Eastern Region (NER)
Northeast india.png
Northeast india map.png
Country India
States
Largest cityGuwahati
Major cities (2011 Census of India)[1]
Area
• Total262179 kilometres2 (101228 sq mi)
Population
• Total45486784
• Density173/km2 (450/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (Indian Standard Time)
Official languages

The states of North Eastern Region are officially recognised under the North Eastern Council (NEC),[2] constituted in 1971 as the acting agency for the development of the north eastern states. Long after induction of NEC, Sikkim formed part of the North Eastern Region as the eighth state in 2002.[4][5]India's Look-East connectivity projects connect Northeast India to East Asia and ASEAN. Guwahati city in Assam is called the Gateway to the North East and is the largest metropolis in North East India.

HistoryEdit

The traditional map of Kamarupa from first millennium sources
Assam annexation to British India in 1838.
Eastern Bengal and Assam in 1907

The earliest settlers may have been Austroasiatic languages speakers from Southeast Asia, followed by Tibeto-Burmese from China and by 500 BCE Indo-Aryans speakers from Gangetic Plains.[6] Due to the bio- and crop diversity of the region, archaeological researchers believe that early settlers of Northeast India had domesticated several important plants.[7] Writers believe that the 100 BCE writings of Chinese explorer Zhang Qian indicate an early trade route via Northeast India.[8] The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea mention a people called Sêsatai in the region,[9] who produced malabathron, so prized in the old world.[10]Ptolemy's Geographia (2nd century CE) calls the region Kirrhadia after the Kirata population.[11]

In the early historical period (most of first millennium CE), Kamarupa straddled most of present-day Northeast India, besides Bhutan and Sylhet in Bangladesh. Xuanzang, a travelling Chinese Buddhist monk, visited Kamarupa in the seventh century CE. He described the people as "short in stature and black-looking", whose speech differed a little from mid-India and who were of simple but violent disposition. He wrote that the people in Kamarupa knew of Sichuan, which lay to the kingdom's east beyond a treacherous mountain.[12]

The northeastern states were established during the British Raj of the nineteenth and early 20th centuries, when they became relatively isolated from traditional trading partners such as Bhutan and Myanmar.[13] Many of the peoples in present-day Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland converted to Christianity under the influence of British (Welsh) missionaries.

Formation of North Eastern statesEdit

In the early nineteenth century, both the Ahom and the Manipur kingdoms fell to a Burmese invasion. The ensuing First Anglo-Burmese War resulted in the entire region coming under British control. In the colonial period (1826–1947), North East India was made a part of Bengal Province from 1839 to 1873, after which Colonial Assam became its own province,[14] but which included Sylhet.

After Indian Independence from British Rule in 1947, the Northeastern region of British India consisted of Assam and the princely states of Manipur and Tripura. Subsequently, Nagaland in 1963, Meghalaya in 1972, Arunachal Pradesh in 1975 (capital changed to Itanagar) (formed on 20 February 1987) and Mizoram in 1987 were formed out of the large territory of Assam.[15] Manipur and Tripura remained Union Territories of India from 1956 until 1972, when they attained fully-fledged statehood. Sikkim was integrated as the eighth North Eastern Council state in 2002.[4]

The city of Shillong served as the capital of the Assam province created during British Rule. It remained the capital of undivided Assam until the formation of the state of Meghalaya in 1972.[16] The capital of Assam was shifted to Dispur, a part of Guwahati, and Shillong was designated as the capital of Meghalaya.

State Historic Name Capital(s) Statehood
Arunachal Pradesh North-East Frontier Agency Itanagar 1987 (earlier a Union Territory of India, constituted in 1971)[17]
Assam Kamarupa Shillong (till 1969), Dispur 1947
Manipur Kangleipak[18] Imphal 1971 (earlier a Union Territory of India, constituted in 1956)[17]
Meghalaya Khasi hills, Jaintia hills and Garo hills Shillong 1971[17]
Mizoram Lushai hills Aizawl 1987 (earlier a Union Territory of India, constituted in 1971)[17][19]
Nagaland Naga Hills District Kohima 1963
Sikkim Sukhim Gangtok 1975
Tripura Tipperah[20] Agartala 1971 (earlier a Union Territory of India, constituted in 1956)[17]

World War TwoEdit

In 1944, the Japanese planned a daring attack on British India. Traveling through Burma, its forces were stopped at Kohima and Imphal by British and Indian troops. This marked the furthest western expansion of the Japanese Empire; its defeat in this area presaged Allied victory.

Sino-Indian War (1962)Edit

Arunachal Pradesh, a state in the Northeastern tip of India, is claimed by China as South Tibet.[citation needed]Sino-Indian relations degraded, resulting in the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The cause of the escalation into war is still disputed by both Chinese and Indian sources. During the war in 1962, the PRC (China) captured much of the NEFA (North-East Frontier Agency) created by India in 1954. But on 21 November 1962, China declared a unilateral ceasefire, and withdrew its troops 20 kilometres (12 mi) behind the McMahon Line. It returned Indian prisoners of war in 1963.[21]

Seven Sister StatesEdit

The Seven Sister States[22] is a popular term for the contiguous states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura prior to inclusion of the state of Sikkim into the North Eastern Region of India. The sobriquet 'Land of the Seven Sisters' was coined to coincide with the inauguration of the new states in January 1972 by Jyoti Prasad Saikia,[23] a journalist in Tripura, in the course of a radio talk show. He later compiled a book on the interdependence and commonness of the Seven Sister States. It has been primarily because of this publication that the nickname has caught on.[citation needed]

GeographyEdit

Brahmaputra plain and Eastern Himalaya in Northeast India

The Northeast region can be physiographically categorised into the Eastern Himalaya, the Patkai and the Brahmaputra and the Barak valley plains. Northeast India (at the confluence of Indo-Malayan, Indo-Chinese, and Indian biogeographical realms) has a predominantly humid sub-tropical climate with hot, humid summers, severe monsoons, and mild winters. Along with the west coast of India, this region has some of the Indian subcontinent's last remaining rainforests, which support diverse flora and fauna and several crop species. Reserves of petroleum and natural gas in the region are estimated to constitute a fifth of India's total potential.

The region is covered by the mighty Brahmaputra-Barak river systems and their tributaries. Geographically, apart from the Brahmaputra, Barak and Imphal valleys and some flatlands in between the hills of Meghalaya and Tripura, the remaining two-thirds of the area is hilly terrain interspersed with valleys and plains; the altitude varies from almost sea-level to over 7000 metres (23000 feet) above MSL. The region's high rainfall, averaging around 10000 millimetres (390 in) and above creates problems of the ecosystem, high seismic activity, and floods. The states of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim have a montane climate with cold, snowy winters and mild summers.

TopographyEdit

Highest peaksEdit

Mt. Kanchenjunga, Sikkim

Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain peak in the world rising to an altitude of 8586 m (28169 feet), lies in-between the state Sikkim and adjacent country Nepal.

Mountains and hills by state
Peak State Range/Region Height (m) Height (ft) Coordinates
Kangchenjunga (shared with Nepal) Sikkim Eastern Himalaya 8586 28169 27 degrees 42′11″N 88 degrees 08′53″E / 27.703 degrees N 88.148 degrees E / 27.703; 88.148
Kangto (shared with China) Arunachal Pradesh Eastern Himalaya 7090 23261 27 degrees 51′54″N 92 degrees 31′59″E / 27.865 degrees N 92.533 degrees E / 27.865; 92.533
Mount Saramati (shared with Myanmar) Nagaland Naga Hills section of the Purvanchal Range 3841 12602 25 degrees 44′31″N 95 degrees 01′59″E / 25.742 degrees N 95.033 degrees E / 25.742; 95.033
Mount Tempü (also known as Mount Iso) Manipur Naga Hills section of the Purvanchal Range 2994 9823 25 degrees 31′52″N 94 degrees 05′06″E / 25.531 degree N 94.085 degrees E / 25.531; 94.085
Phawngpui Mizoram Lushai Hills section of the Purvanchal Range 2165 7103 22 degrees 37′55″N 93 degrees 02′20″E / 22.632 degrees N 93.039 degrees E / 22.632; 93.039
Shillong Peak Meghalaya Khasi Hills section of the Shillong Plateau 1965 6447 25 degrees 31′55″N 91 degree 51′04″E / 25.532 degrees N 91.851 degree E / 25.532; 91.851
Unnamed peak Assam Cachar Hills section of the Karbi Anglong Plateau 1960 6430 25 degrees 19′16″N 93 degrees 27′11″E / 25.321 degree N 93.453 degrees E / 25.321; 93.453
Betlingchhip Tripura Jampui Hills section of the Purvanchal Range 930 3051 23 degrees 48′36″N 92 degrees 15′40″E / 23.810 degrees N 92.261 degree E / 23.810; 92.261

Brahmaputra River BasinEdit

Brahmaputra river basin
Teesta River, Sikkim

Tributaries of the Brahmaputra River in Northeast India:

ClimateEdit

Northeast India has a subtropical climate that is influenced by its relief and influences from the southwest and northeast monsoons.[24][25] The Himalayas to the north, the Meghalaya plateau to the south and the hills of Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur to the east influences the climate.[26] Since monsoon winds originating from the Bay of Bengal move northeast, these mountains force the moist winds upwards, causing them to cool adiabatically and condense into clouds, releasing heavy precipitation on these slopes.[26] It is the rainiest region in the country, with many places receiving an average annual precipitation of 2000 millimetres (79 in), which is mostly concentrated in summer during the monsoon season.[26]Cherrapunji, located on the Meghalaya plateau is one of the rainiest place in the world with an annual precipitation of 11777 millimetres (463.7 in).[26] Temperatures are moderate in the Brahmaputra and Barak valley river plains which decreases with altitude in the hilly areas.[26] At the highest altitudes, there is permanent snow cover.[26] In general, the region has 3 seasons: Winter, Summer, and rainy season in which the rainy season coincides with the summer months much like the rest of India.[27] Winter is from early November until mid March while summer is from mid-April to mid-October.[26]

Under the Köppen climate classification, the region is divided into 3 broad types: A (tropical climates), C (warm temperate mesothermal climates), and D (snow microthermal climates).[28][29] The tropical climates are located in parts of Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, and the Cachar plains south of 25oN and are classified as tropical wet and dry (Aw).[28]. Much of Assam, Nagaland, northern parts of Meghalaya and Manipur and parts of Arunachal Pradesh fall within the warm temperature mesothermal climates (type C) where the mean temperatures in coldest months are between −3 to 18 degrees Celsius (27 to 64 degrees Fahrenheit).[29][30] The entire Brahmaputra valley has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa/Cwa) with hot summers.[29][30] At altitudes between 500 to 1500 m (1600 to 4900 feet) located in the eastern hills of Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, a (Cfb/CWb) climate prevails with warm summers.[29][30] Locations above 1500 m (4900 feet) in Meghalaya, parts of Nagaland, and northern Arunachal Pradesh have a (Cfc/Cwc) climates with short and cool summers.[30] Finally, the extreme northern parts of Arunachal Pradesh have are classified as humid continental climates with mean winter temperatures below −3 degrees Celsius (27 degrees Fahrenheit).[29][31]

Temperature
Temperatures vary by altitude with the warmest places being in the Brahmaputra and Barak River plains and the coldest at the highest altitudes.[32] It is also influenced by proximity to the sea with the valleys and western areas being close to the sea, which moderates temperatures.[32] Generally, temperatures in the hilly and mountainous areas are generally lower than the plains which lie at a lower altitude.[33] Summer temperatures tend to be more uniform than winter temperatures due to high cloud cover and humidity.[34]

In the Brahmaputra and Barak valley river plains, mean winter temperatures vary between 16 to 17 degrees Celsius (61 to 63 degrees Fahrenheit) while mean summer temperatures are around 28 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit).[32] The highest summer temperatures occur in the West Tripura plain with Agartala, the capital of Tripura having mean maximum summer temperatures ranging between 33 to 35 degrees Celsius (91 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit) in April.[35] The highest temperatures in summer occur before the arrival of monsoons and thus eastern areas have the highest temperatures in June and July where the monsoon arrives later than western areas.[35] In the Cachar Plain, located south of the Brahmaputra plain, temperatures are higher than the Brahmaputra plain although the temperature range is smaller owing to higher cloud cover and the monsoons that moderate night temperatures year round.[35][33]

In the mountainous areas of Arunachal Pradesh, the Himalayan ranges in the northern border with India and China experience the lowest temperatures with heavy snow during winter and temperatures that drop below freezing.[33] Areas with altitudes exceeding 2000 metres (6562 feet) receive snowfall during winters and have cool summers.[33] Below 2000 metres (6562 feet) above sea level, winter temperatures reach up to 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit) during the day with nights dropping to zero while summers are cool, with a mean maximum of 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) and a mean minimum of 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit).[33] In the hilly areas of Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram, winters are cold while summers are cool.[34]

The plains in Manipur has colder winter minimums than what is warranted by its elevation owing to being surrounded by hills on all sides.[36] This is due to temperature inversions during winter nights when cold air descends from the hills into the valleys below and its geographic location which prevents winds that bring hot temperatures and humidity from coming into the Manipur plain.[36] For example in Imphal, winter daytime temperatures hover around 21 degree Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) but nighttime temperatures drop to 3 degrees Celsius (37 degrees Fahrenheit).[36]

Rainfall
No part of Northeast India receives less than 1000 millimetres (39 in) of rainfall a year.[27] Areas in the Brahmputra valley receive 2000 millimetres (79 in) of rainfall a year while mountainous areas receive 2000 to 3000 millimetres (79 to 118 in) a year.[27] The southwest monsoon is responsible for bringing 90% of the annual rainfall to the region.[37] April to late October are the months where most of the rainfall in Northeast India occurs with June and July being the rainiest months.[37] In most parts of the region, the average date of onset of the monsoons is 1 June.[38] Southern areas are the first to receive the monsoon (May or June) with the Brahmaputra valley and the mountainous north receiving later (later May or June).[37] In the hilly parts of Mizoram, the closer proximity to the Bay of Bengal causes it to experience early monsoons with June being the wettest season.[37]

High risk seismic zoneEdit

India Plate and other tectonic plates

The North Eastern Region of India is a mega-earthquake prone zone caused by active fault planes beneath formed by the convergence of three tectonic plates viz. India Plate, Eurasian Plate and Burma Plate. Historically the region has suffered from two great earthquakes (M > 8.0) – 1897 Assam earthquake and 1950 Assam-Tibet earthquake – and about 20 large earthquakes (8.0 > M > 7.0) since 1897.[39][40] The 1950 Assam-Tibet earthquake is still the largest earthquake in India.

WildlifeEdit

FloraEdit

WWF has identified the entire Eastern Himalayas as a priority Global 200 ecoregion. Conservation International has upscaled the Eastern Himalaya hotspot to include all the eight states of Northeast India, along with the neighbouring countries of Bhutan, southern China and Myanmar.

The region has been identified by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research as a center of rice germplasm. The National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), India, has highlighted the region as being rich in wild relatives of crop plants. It is the center of origin of citrus fruits. Two primitive variety of maize, Sikkim Primitive 1 and 2, have been reported from Sikkim (Dhawan, 1964). Although jhum cultivation, a traditional system of agriculture, is often cited as a reason for the loss of forest cover of the region, this primary agricultural economic activity practiced by local tribes supported the cultivation of 35 varieties of crops. The region is rich in medicinal plants and many other rare and endangered taxa. Its high endemism in both higher plants, vertebrates, and avian diversity has qualified it as a biodiversity hotspot.

The following figures highlight the biodiversity significance of the region:[41]

  • 51 forest types are found in the region, broadly classified into six major types – tropical moist deciduous forests, tropical semi-evergreen forests, tropical wet evergreen forests, subtropical forests, temperate forests, and alpine forests.
  • Out of the nine important vegetation types of India, six are found in the North Eastern Region.
  • These forests harbor 8000 out of 15000 species of flowering plants. In floral species richness, the highest diversity is reported from the states of Arunachal Pradesh (5000 species) and Sikkim (4500 species) amongst the North Eastern states.
  • According to the Indian Red Data Book, published by the Botanical Survey of India, 10 percent of the flowering plants in the country are endangered. Of the 1500 endangered floral species, 800 are reported from Northeast India.
  • Most of the North Eastern states have more than 60% of their area under forest cover, a minimum suggested coverage for the hill states in the country in order to protect from erosion.
  • Northeast India is a part of Indo-Burma hotspot. This hotspot is the second largest in the world, next only to the Mediterranean Basin, with an area 2206000 square kilometres (852000 sq mi) among the 25 identified.[citation needed]
  • This list was truncated from 6 items.

FaunaEdit

The International Council for Bird Preservation, UK identified the Assam plains and the Eastern Himalaya as an Endemic Bird Area (EBA). The EBA has an area of 220000 kilometres2 following the Himalayan range in the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Nepal, Myanmar and the Indian states of Sikkim, northern West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, southern Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram. Because of a southward occurrence of this mountain range in comparison to other Himalayan ranges, this region has a distinctly different climate, with warmer mean temperatures and fewer days with frost, and much higher rainfall. This has resulted in the occurrence of a rich array of restricted-range bird species. More than two critically endangered species, three endangered species, and 14 vulnerable species of birds are in this EBA. Stattersfield et al. (1998) identified 22 restricted range species, out of which 19 are confined to this region and the remaining three are present in other endemic and secondary areas. Eleven of the 22 restricted-range species found in this region are considered as threatened (Birdlife International 2001), a number greater than in any other EBA of India.[citation needed]

Northeast India is very rich in faunal diversity. There are as many as 15 species of non-human primates and most important of them are hoolock gibbon, stumptied macafue, pigtailed macague, golden langure, hanuman langur and rhesus monkey. The most important and endangered species is one-horned rhinoceros. The forests of the region are also the habitats of elephant, royal Bengal tiger, leopard golden cat, fishing cat, marbled cat, etc. the Gangetic dolphin in the Brahmaputra is also one the endangered species. The other endangered species are otter, crocodile, tortoise and some fishes.[42]

WWF has identified the following priority ecoregions in North-East India:

Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests
Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests
Eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests
Northeast India–Myanmar pine forests

National ParksEdit

National park Location State Area (km2) Importance Vegetation
Namdapha National Park Changlang district Arunachal Pradesh 1985 Largest protected area in Eastern Himalaya Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, montane forests
Manas National Park Barpeta district Assam 950 UNESCO World Heritage Site Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests
Kaziranga National Park Golaghat and Nagaon districts Assam [43] 882 UNESCO World Heritage Site Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests, Terai–Duar savanna and grasslands
Khangchendzonga National Park North Sikkim district Sikkim 850 UNESCO Mixed World Heritage Site and highest altitude wildlife protected area in India Sub-tropical to Alpine, Krummholz (stunted forest)[44]
Mouling National Park Upper Siang, West Siang and East Siang districts Arunachal Pradesh 483 Tropical to Temperate forests
Dibru-Saikhowa National Park Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts Assam 350 Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests
Balphakram National Park South Garo Hills district Meghalaya 220 Sub-tropical evergreen deciduous forests
Intangki National Park Peren district Nagaland 202 Temperate evergreen forests
Nameri National Park Sonitpur district Assam 200 Brahmaputra Valley semi-evergreen forests
Murlen National Park Champhai district Mizoram 100 Montane sub-tropical semi-evergreen forest[45]
Orang National Park Darrang and Sonitpur Assam 79 Eastern seasonal swamp forests, Eastern Himalayan moist mixed deciduous forests, eastern wet alluvial grasslands[46]
Phawngpui National Park Lawngtlai district Mizoram 50 Temperate forests[47]
Nokrek National Park West Garo Hills district Meghalaya 48 Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests
Sirohi National Park Ukhrul district Manipur 41 Mizoram–Manipur–Kachin rain forests
Keibul Lamjao National Park Bishnupur district Manipur 40 World's only floating National park Phumdi (floating marshes)
Bison (Rajbari) National Park South Tripura district Tripura 32 Tropical semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests
Clouded Leopard National Park Sepahijala district Tripura 5 Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests

State SymbolsEdit

Arunachal Pradesh Assam Manipur Meghalaya
Animal Mithun (Bos frontalis) Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) Sangai (Rucervus eldii eldii) Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)
Bird Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) White-winged duck (Asarcornis scutulata) Mrs. Hume's pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae) Hill myna (Gracula religiosa)
Flower Foxtail orchid (Rhynchostylis retusa) Foxtail orchid (Rhynchostylis retusa) Siroi lily (Lilium mackliniae) Lady's Slipper Orchid (Paphiopedilum insigne)
Tree Hollong (Dipterocarpus macrocarpus) Hollong (Dipterocarpus macrocarpus) Uningthou (Phoebe hainesiana) Gamhar (Gmelina arborea)
Mizoram Nagaland Sikkim Tripura
Animal Himalayan serow (Capricornis thar) Mithun (Bos frontalis) Red panda (Ailurus fulgens) Phayre's leaf monkey (Trachypithecus phayrei)
Bird Mrs. Hume's pheasant (Syrmaticus humiae) Blyth's tragopan (Tragopan blythii) Blood pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) Green imperial pigeon (Ducula aenea)
Flower Red Vanda (Renanthera imschootiana) Tree rhododendron (Rhododendron arboreum) Noble dendrobium (Dendrobium nobile) Indian rose chestnut (Mesua ferrea)
Tree Indian rose chestnut (Mesua ferrea) Alder (Alnus nepalensis) Rhododendron (Rhododendron niveum) Agarwood (Aquillaria agallocha)

DemographicsEdit

The total population of Northeast India is 46 million with 68 percent of that living in Assam alone. Assam also has a higher population density of 397 persons per km2 than the national average of 382 persons per km2. The literacy rates in the states of the Northeastern region, except those in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, are higher than the national average of 74 percent. As per 2011 census, Meghalaya recorded the highest population growth of 27.8 percent among all the states of the region, higher than the national average at 17.64 percent; while Nagaland recorded the lowest in the entire country with a negative 0.5 percent.[48]

State Population Males Females Sex Ratio Literacy % Rural Population Urban Population Area (km2) Density (/km2)
Arunachal Pradesh 1383727 713912 669815 938 65.38 870087 227881 83743 17
Assam 31205576 15939443 15266133 958 72.19 23216288 3439240 78438 397
Manipur 2570390 1290171 1280219 992 79.21 1590820 575968 22327 122
Meghalaya 2966889 1491832 1475057 989 74.43 1864711 454111 22429 132
Mizoram 1097206 555339 541867 976 91.33 447567 441006 21081 52
Nagaland 1978502 1024649 953853 931 79.55 1647249 342787 16579 119
Sikkim 610577 323070 287507 890 81.42 480981 59870 7096 86
Tripura 4173917 2087059 2086858 960 91.58 2639134 1534783 10486 350

Largest cities by populationEdit

According to 2011 Census of India, the largest cities in Northeast India are

Rank City Type State Population Rank City Type State Population
1 Guwahati UA Assam 968549 9 Jorhat UA Assam 153889
2 Agartala City Tripura 622613 10 Nagaon UA Assam 147496
3 Imphal UA Manipur 414288 11 Bongaigaon UA Assam 139650
4 Dimapur City Nagaland 379769 12 Tinsukia UA Assam 126389
5 Shillong UA Meghalaya 354325 13 Tezpur UA Assam 102505
6 Aizawl City Mizoram 291822 14 Kohima UA Nagaland 100000
7 Silchar UA Assam 229136 15 Gangtok City Sikkim 98658
8 Dibrugarh UA Assam 154296 16 Itanagar City Arunachal Pradesh 95650

UA: Urban Agglomeration[49]

LanguagesEdit

Northeast India constitutes a single linguistic region within the Indian national context, with about 220 languages in multiple language families (Indo-European, Sino-Tibetan, Kra–Dai, Austroasiatic, as well as some creole languages) that share a number of features that set them apart from most other areas of the Indian subcontinent (such as alveolar consonants rather than the more typical dental/retroflex distinction).[50][51]Assamese, an Indo-Aryan language spoken mostly in the Brahmaputra Valley, developed as a lingua franca for many speech communities. Assamese-based pidgin/creoles have developed in Nagaland (Nagamese) and Arunachal (Nefamese),[52] though their use has been on a decline in recent times. The Austro-Asiatic family is represented by the Khasi, Jaintia and War languages of Meghalaya. A small number of Tai–Kadai languages (Ahom, Tai Phake, Khamti, etc.) are also spoken. Sino-Tibetan is represented by a number of languages that differ significantly from each other,[53] some of which are: Bodo, Rabha, Karbi, Mising, Tiwa, Deori, Biate etc. (Assam); Garo, Hajong, Biate (Meghalaya) Ao, Angami, Sema, Lotha, Konyak etc.(Nagaland); Mizo, Hmar, Chakma etc. (Mizoram); Hrusso, Tanee, Nisi, Adi, Abor, Nocte, Apatani, Misimi etc. (Arunachal). Meitei is the official language in Manipur, the dominant language of the Imphal Valley; while "Naga" languages such as Poumai, Mao, Maram, Rongmei (Kabui) and Tangkul, and Kuki-Chin languages such as Thadou-Kuki, Mizo, Hmar, Simte and Paite predominate in individual hill areas of the state.[54]

Among other Indo-Aryan languages, Bengali is spoken in South Assam in the Barak Valley. Besides the Sino-Tibetan Tripuri language, Bengali is a majority language in Tripura. Nepali, an Indo-Aryan language, is dominant in Sikkim, besides the Sino-Tibetan languages Limbu, Bhutia and Lepcha. Bengali was the official language of Colonial Assam for about forty years from the 1830s.

Official languagesEdit

State Official Languages[55]
Arunachal Pradesh English
Assam Assamese, Sylheti (in the Barak Valley), Bodo (in Bodoland)
Manipur Meiteilon
Meghalaya Khasi, Garo, English
Mizoram Mizo, English
Nagaland English[56]
Sikkim Nepali, English
Tripura Bengali, Kokborok, English [57]

Etymology of state namesEdit

Name of state Origin Literal meaning
Arunachal Pradesh Sanskrit Land of the rising sun
Assam Native word Name derived from the Ahom people[58]
Manipur Sanskrit Land abundant with jewels, adopted in the eighteenth century
Meghalaya Sanskrit Abode of the clouds, coined by Shiba P. Chatterjee
Mizoram Mizo language Land of the Hilly people; Ram - means land
Nagaland English Land of the Naga people
Sikkim Limbu Language New House – Derived from the word "Sukhim", "Su" meaning new and "Khim" meaning house
Tripura Kokborok Sanskrit version of native names: Tipra, Tuipura, Twipra etc. It literally means Land near the Water – Derived from the word "TWIPRA", "Twi" meaning water and "Bupra" meaning near. As Tripura is slightly near the Bay of Bengal

Endangered languagesEdit

Given the diverse population in the region with only a few widely spoken ones recognised as the official languages by both the state and central governments, a large number of languages from the North Eastern Region of India have become vulnerable. Without proper teaching and preservation efforts, the already underdeveloped literature of the endangered languages are on the verge of extinction. Additionally, the younger generation are rapidly adopting the widely spoken languages to secure employment and livelihood.[59]

ReligionsEdit

Religion in Northeast India (2011)

Hinduism (58.06%)
Islam (23%)
Christianity (16.89%)
Buddhism (1.37%)
Jainism (0.07%)
Sikhism (0.07%)
Other religions (1.65%)
Not Stated (0.19%)
Religious population in North Eastern Region, according to 2011 Census of India[60]
State Hinduism Islam Christianity Buddhism Jainism Sikhism Other Religions Religion Not Stated
Arunachal Pradesh 401876 27045 418732 162815 771 3287 362553 6648
Assam 19180759 10679345 1165867 54993 25949 20672 27118 50873
Manipur 1181876 239836 1179043 7084 1692 1527 233767 10969
Meghalaya 342078 130399 2213027 9864 627 3045 258271 9578
Mizoram 30136 14832 956331 93411 376 286 808 1026
Nagaland 173054 48963 1739651 6759 2655 1890 3214 2316
Sikkim 352662 9867 60522 167216 314 1868 16300 1828
Tripura 3063903 316042 159882 125385 860 1070 1514 5261
Total 24726344 11466329 7893055 627527 33244 33645 903545 88499

Ethnic groupsEdit

Northeast India has over 220 ethnic groups and an equal number of dialects in which Bodo form the largest indigenous ethnic group.[61] The hills states in the region like Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland are predominantly inhabited by tribal people with a degree of diversity even within the tribal groups. The region's population results from ancient and continuous flows of migrations from Tibet, Indo-Gangetic India, the Himalayas, present Bangladesh, and Myanmar.[62]

Major communitiesEdit


Mizo girls in Mizo traditional dress

CultureEdit

CuisinesEdit

State Staple diet Popular dishes Related article
Arunachal Pradesh Rice, fish, meat, leaf vegetables Thukpa, momo, apong (rice beer) Cuisine of Arunachal Pradesh
Assam Rice, fish, meat, leaf vegetable Assam tea, Pitha, khar, Khar-Matidal, Ou-tenga-Masar-Jul, Pura-Mass, Alu-Pitika, Pani-Tenga, Kharali, Kharisa, Shukan Masar Shukati, Pointa-Bhat, Tupula-Bhat, Sunga-Sawal, Kharikat Dia Mas, Kharikat Dia-Mankha, Pati-Hahar-Mankha-Jul, Lai-Shak-Gahari-Mankha, Kumal Sawal-Doi Jalpaan, Tamul (betel nut) – paan, rice beer (Lao Pani, Haj Pani and Sai Mod) Assamese cuisine
Manipur Rice, fish, local vegetables Eromba, u-morok, singju, ngari (fermented fish), kangshoi Cuisine of Manipur
Meghalaya Rice, spiced meat, fish Jadoh, ki kpu, minil, nakham (dried fish), momo, bamboo shoot Cuisine of Meghalaya
Mizoram Rice, fish, meat Bai, bekang (fermented soya beans), sa-um (fermented pork), sawhchiar
Nagaland Rice, meat, stewed or steamed vegetables fermented bamboo shoot, smoked pork and beef, axone, bhut jolokia Naga cuisine
Sikkim Rice, meat, dairy products Thukpa, momo, sha Phaley, gundruk, sinki, sel roti Sikkimese cuisine
Tripura Rice, fish, meat, local

Vegetables

Chakhui, Gudok, Mosdeng, Awandru, Mwkhwi,Hangjak, Ikjak, bamboo shoot, fermented fish Tripuri cuisine

ArtsEdit

Sattriya (from Assam) and Manipuri dance (from Manipur) have been listed as classical dances of India. Besides these, all tribes in Northeast India have their own folk dances associated with their religion and festivals. The tribal heritage in the region is rich with the practice of hunting, land cultivation and indigenous crafts. The rich culture is vibrant and visible with the traditional attires of each community.[citation needed]

All states in Northeast India share the handicrafts of bamboo and cane, wood carving, making traditional weapons and musical instruments, pottery and handloom weaving. Traditional tribal attires are made of thick fabrics primarily with cotton.[63]Assam silk is a famous industry in the region.

State Traditional Performing Arts Traditional Visual Arts Traditional Crafts
Arunachal Pradesh Wancho dances, Idu Mishmi dance, Digaru Mishmi Buiya dance, Khampti dance, Ponung dance, Sadinuktso[64] Cane and bamboo, cotton and wool weaving, wood carving, blacksmithy (hand tools, weapons, ornaments, dishes, sacred bells and smoking pipes)[64][65]
Assam Sattriya, Bagurumba, Bihu dance, Bhaona (For more see Music of Assam) Hastividyarnava (For more see Fine Arts of Assam) Cane and bamboo, bell metal and brass, silk, toy and mask making, pottery and terracotta, jewellery, musical instruments making, boat making, paints
Manipur Manipuri dance (Ras Lila), Kartal Cholom, Manjira Cholom, Khubak Eshei, Pung Cholom, Lai-Haraoba Cotton textile, bamboo crafts (hats, baskets), pottery[65][63]
Meghalaya Nongkrem, Shad suk, Behdienkhlam, Wangala, Lahoo dance[66][65] (For more see Music of Meghalaya) Making hand tools and weapons, musical instruments (drums), cane and bamboo work, weaving traditional attires, jewellery making (gold, coral, glass), wall engravings, wood carving[65][67]
Mizoram Cheraw, Khuallam, Chheih-Lam, Chai, Rallu-Lam, Solakia, Sarlamkai, Par-lam, Sakei Lu Lam[68] (For more see Music of Mizoram) Traditional hand tools, weapons and textile work, bamboo and cane handicrafts[69][65]
Nagaland Zeliang dance, war dance, Nruirolians (cock dance) (For more see Music of Nagaland) Cane and bamboo crafts, traditional hand tools, weapons and textile work, wood carving, pottery, ornaments for traditional attire, musical instruments (drum and trumpet)[65]
Sikkim Chu Faat dance, Lu Khangthamo, Gha To Kito, Rechungma, Maruni, Tamang Selo, Singhi Chaam, Yak Chaam, Khukuri dance, Rumtek Chaam (mask dance)[70][71][72] (See also Music of Sikkim) Thangka (showcasing Buddhist teachings on cotton canvas using vegetable dyes)[71] Handmade paper, carpet making, woollen textile, wood carving[71]
Tripura Goria dance, Jhum dance, Lebang dance, Mamita dance, Mosak sulmani dance, Hojagiri dance, Bizhu dance, Wangala, Hai-hak dance, Sangrai dance, Owa dance Cane and bamboo, weaving and handloom, sitalpati (mat making), wood carving,[65]string and wind musical instruments

MusicEdit

Northeast is a hub of different genres of music. Each community has its own rich heritage of folk music. Talented musicians and singers are plentifully found in this part of the country. The Assamese singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika achieved national and international fame with his remarkable creations. Another famous singer from Assam, Pratima Barua Pandey is a well-known folk singer. Zubeen Garg, Papon, Anurag Saikia are some other notable singers, musicians from the state of Assam. Tangkhul Naga folk blue singer like Rewben Mashangva, who comes from Ukhrul, is an acclaimed Folk singer whose music is inspired by the like of Bob Dylan and Bob Marley. Another famous folk singing band from Nagaland popularly known as Tetseo Sisters is one to be noted for their original music genre. However, younger generation has started pursuing western music more and more nowadays. Northeast is witnessing immense rise of musical revolution in the 20-1th century.[citation needed]

LiteratureEdit

Many of the Northeast Indian indigenous communities have an ancient heritage of folktales which tell the tale of their origin, rituals, beliefs and so on. These tales are transmitted from one generation to another in oral form. They are remarkable instances of tribal wisdom and imagination. However, Assam, Tripura and Manipur have some ancient written texts. These states were mentioned in the great Hindu epic Mahabharata. The Saptakanda Ramayana in Assamese by Madhava Kandali is considered the first translation of the Sanskrit Ramayana into a modern Indo-Aryan Language. Karbi Ramayana bears witness to the old heritage of written literature in Assam. Two writers from the Northeast, viz., Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya and Mamoni Raisom Goswami, have been awarded Jnanpith, the highest literary award in India.[73] Hence, Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya was the first Assamese writer and from the Northeast India to receive Jnanpith Award for his Assamese novel Mrityunjay(1979).[74]Mamoni Raisom Goswami was awarded the Jnanpith Award in the year 2000.[73]Nagen Saikia is the first writer from Assam and the Northeast India, to have been conferred the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Fellowship by the Sahitya Akademi.[75][76] The last quarter of the 20th century saw the rise of modern literature in the Northeast. Most of the writers, especially the tribal writers, are bilingual, that is, they write both in their mother-tongue and English. Some of the general features of this literature are—retrieval of folklore, celebration of folk culture, identity politics, reaction to the insurgency and counter-insurgency operations, depiction of natural beauty, changes meted out by time, etc. The major writers of Northeast Literature are--(from Assam) Lakshminath Bezbaroa, Homen Borgohain, Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya, Harekrishna Deka, Rongbong Terang, Nilmani Phukan, Indira Goswami, Hiren Bhattacharyya, Mitra Phukan, Jahnavi Barua, Dhruba Hazarika, Rita Chowdhury, D N Bezbarua, Nilim Kumar, Anupama Basumatary, Uddipana Goswami, Aruni Kashyap; (from Arunachal Pradesh) Mamang Dai; (from Manipur) Robin S Ngangom, Ratan Thiyam, Thangjam Ibopishak, Gambhini Devi, T Bijoykumar Singh; (from Meghalaya) Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih, Esther Syiem, Desmond Kharmawphlang, Paul Lyngdoh, Anjum Hassan; (from Mizoram) Mona Zote; (from Nagaland) Temsula Ao, Cherrie Chhangte, Easterine Kire; (from Sikkim) Sudha M Rai, Rajendra Bhandari (from Tripura) Chandrakanta Murasingh. Temsula Ao is the first writer from Northeast India to be awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award (2013) in the Indian English Literature category for her collection of short stories, Laburnum for My Head, and Padmashree (2007). Easterine Kire is the first English novelist hailed from Nagaland. She received The Hindu Literary Prize (2015) for her novel When the River Sleeps. Indira Goswami, alias Mamoni Roisom Goswami, is an acclaimed Assamese writer whose novels include Moth-Eaten Howda of the Tusker, Pages Stained with Blood, The Shadow of Kamakhya and The Blue-Necked God. Mamang Dai won the Sahitya Akademi Award (2017) for her novel The Black Hill.[77]

FestivalsEdit

Indigenous festivals in the northeast include the Ojiale festival of the Wancho people, Chhekar festival of the Sherdukpen people, Longte Yullo festival of Nishis, Solung festival of Adis, Losar festival of Monpas, Reh festival of Idu Mishmis and Dree festival of Apatani.[78] In Manipur popular festivals include Ningol Chakouba and the Manipur boat racing festival or the Heikru Hidongba.

Administration and political disputesEdit

International borders managementEdit

Pan-states development authoritiesEdit

States and sub-divisionsEdit

State Code Capital Districts Sub-division Type Number of Subdivisions
Arunachal Pradesh IN-AR Itanagar 20 Circle 149
Assam IN-AS Dispur 33 Sub-division 78
Manipur IN-MN Imphal 16 Sub-division 38
Meghalaya IN-ML Shillong 11 Community Development Block 39
Mizoram IN-MZ Aizawl 8 Community Development Block 22
Nagaland IN-NL Kohima 11 Circle 33
Sikkim IN-SK Gangtok 4 Sub-division 9
Tripura IN-TR Agartala 8 Sub-division 23
Autonomous Administrative Divisions in North Eastern States
State Autonomous Division Establishment
Assam Bodoland Territorial Area Districts February 2003
Dima Hasao district February 1970
Karbi Anglong district February 1970
Mising Autonomous Council 1995
Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council 1995
Manipur[79][80] Churachandpur Autonomous District Council 1971
Chandel Autonomous District Council 1971
Senapati Autonomous District Council 1971
Sadar Hills Autonomous District Council 1971
Tamenglong Autonomous District Council 1971
Ukhrul Autonomous District Council 1971
Meghalaya Garo Hills Autonomous District Council
Jaintia Hills Autonomous District Council July 2012
Khasi Hills Autonomous District Council
Mizoram Chakma Autonomous District Council April 1972
Lai Autonomous District Council April 1972
Mara Autonomous District Council May 1971
Tripura Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council January 1982

GovernmentEdit

The northeastern states, having 3.8% of India's total population, are allotted 25 out of a total of 543 seats in the Lok Sabha. This is 4.6% of the total number of seats.[citation needed]

State Chief Minister[81] Governor[82] High Court Chief Justice
Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu B. D. Mishra Guwahati High Court (Itanagar Bench) Shri Ajai Lamba, Chief Justice
Assam Sarbananda Sonowal Professor Jagdish Mukhi Guwahati High Court Shri Ajai Lamba, Chief Justice
Manipur Nongthombam Biren Singh Najma Heptulla Manipur High Court Justice N. Kotiswar Singh
Meghalaya Conrad Sangma Shri Ravindra Narayana Ravi Meghalaya High Court Justice Dinesh Maheshwari
Mizoram Zoramthanga Shri P.S. Sreedharan Pillai Guwahati High Court (Aizawl Bench) Shri Ajai Lamba, Chief Justice
Nagaland Neiphiu Rio Shri R. N. Ravi Guwahati High Court (Kohima Bench) Shri Ajai Lamba, Chief Justice
Sikkim Prem Singh Tamang Ganga Prasad Sikkim High Court Justice Satish K. Agnihotri
Tripura Biplab Kumar Deb Shri Ramesh Bais Tripura High Court Justice Tinlianthang Vaiphei

20th century separatist unrestEdit

In 1947 Indian independence and partition resulted in the North East becoming a landlocked region. This exacerbated the isolation that has been recognized, but not studied. East Pakistan controlled access to the Indian Ocean.[83] The mountainous terrain has hampered the construction of road and railways connections in the region.[citation needed]

Several militant groups have formed an alliance to fight against the governments of India, Bhutan, and Myanmar, and now use the term "Western Southeast Asia" (WESEA) to refer to the region.[84] The separatist groups include the Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP), Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL), People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK), People's Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak-Pro (PREPAK-Pro), Revolutionary People's Front (RPF) and United National Liberation Front (UNLF) of Manipur, Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) of Meghalaya, Kamatapur Liberation Organization (KLO), which operates in Assam and North Bengal, National Democratic Front of Bodoland and ULFA of Assam, and the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT).[85]

EconomyEdit

The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) is the deciding body under Government of India for socio-economic development in the region. The North Eastern Council under MDoNER serves as the regional governing body for Northeast India. The North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd. (NEDFi) is a Public Limited Company providing assistance to micro, small, medium and large enterprises within the northeastern region (NER). Other organizations under MDoNER include North Eastern Regional Agricultural Marketing Corporation Limited (NERAMAC), Sikkim Mining Corporation Limited (SMC) and North Eastern Handlooms and Handicrafts Development Corporation (NEHHDC).

IndustriesEdit

AgricultureEdit

The economy is agrarian. Little land is available for settled agriculture. Along with settled agriculture, jhum (slash-and-burn) cultivation is still practised by a few indigenous groups of people. The inaccessible terrain and internal disturbances has made rapid industrialisation difficult in the region.[citation needed]

TourismEdit

Living Root Bridges

Northeast India is also the home of many Living root bridges. In Meghalaya, these can be found in the southern Khasi and Jaintia Hills.[86][87][88] They are still widespread in the region, though as a practice they are fading out, with many examples having been destroyed in floods or replaced by more standard structures in recent years.[89] Living root bridges have also been observed in the state of Nagaland, near the Indo-Myanmar border.[90]

Newspapers & MagazinesEdit

Northeast India has several newspapers in both English and regional languages. The largest circulated English daily in Assam is The Assam Tribune. In Meghalaya, The Shillong Times is the highest circulated newspaper. In Nagaland, Nagaland Post has the highest number of readers. G Plus is the only print and digital English weekly tabloid published from Guwahati. In Manipur, Imphal Free Press is a highly respected newspaper. In Arunachal Pradesh, The Arunachal Times is the highest circulated newspaper in Arunachal Pradesh.[citation needed]

TransportationEdit

AirEdit

Agartala airport (Tripura)

States in the North Eastern Region are well connected by air-transport conducting regular flights to all major cities in the country. The states also own several small airstrips for military and private purposes which may be accessed using Pawan Hans helicopter services. The region currently has two international airports viz. Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Bir Tikendrajit International Airport Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport conducting flights to Thailand, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan. While the airport in Sikkim is under-construction, Bagdogra Airport (IATA: IXB, ICAO: VEBD) remains the closest domestic airport to the state.

Public airports operational in Northeast India
State Airport City IATA Code
Arunachal Pradesh Itanagar Airport (Under construction) Itanagar
Assam Dibrugarh Airport Dibrugarh DIB
Jorhat Airport Jorhat JRH
Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport Guwahati GAU
Lilabari Airport Lakhimpur IXI
Rupsi Airport Dhubri RUP
Silchar Airport Silchar IXS
Tezpur Airport Tezpur TEZ
Manipur Bir Tikendrajit International Airport Imphal IMF
Meghalaya Baljek Airport Tura VETU (ICAO)
Shillong Airport Shillong SHL
Mizoram Lengpui Airport Aizawl AJL
Nagaland Dimapur Airport Dimapur DMU
Sikkim Pakyong Airport Gangtok PYG
Tripura Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport Agartala IXA

RailwayEdit

Railway in Northeast India is delineated as Northeast Frontier Railway zone of Indian Railways. The regional network is underdeveloped with the states of Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Sikkim remaining almost disconnected till date (11 June 2017). However, projects are underway to extend the network and connect all the capital cities in the region.[citation needed]

Look East PolicyEdit

The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project will provide sea access to Northeastern states of India through Myanmar

In the 20-1th century, there has been recognition among policymakers and economists of the region that the main stumbling block for economic development of the Northeastern region is the disadvantageous geographical location.[91] It was argued that globalisation propagates deterritorialisation and a borderless world which is often associated with economic integration. With 98 percent of its borders with China, Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal, Northeast India appears to have a better scope for development in the era of globalisation.[92] As a result, a new policy developed among intellectuals and politicians that one direction the Northeastern region must be looking to as a new way of development lies with political integration with the rest of India and economic integration with the rest of Asia and Oceania, with North, East and Southeast Asia, Micronesia and Polynesia in particular, as the policy of economic integration with the rest of India did not yield much dividends. With the development of this new policy, the Government of India directed its Look East policy towards developing the Northeastern region. This policy is reflected in the Year End Review 2004 of the Ministry of External Affairs, which stated that: "India’s Look East Policy has now been given a new dimension by the UPA Government. India is now looking towards a partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN countries, both within BIMSTEC and the India-ASEAN Summit dialogue as integrally linked to economic and security interests, particularly for India’s East and North East region."[93]

Development and connectivity projectsEdit

The north-east (NE) region of India lags behind the rest of the country in several development indicators. Although infrastructure has developed over the years, the region has to go a long way to level up the national standard. The total road network of about 377 thousand km of NE contributes about 9.94 per cent of the total roads in the country. Road density in terms of road length per thousand km2. area is very poor in hilly state of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Sikkim, while it is significantly high in Tripura and Assam. The road length per 100 kilometres2 area in NE districts varies from as less as below 10 kilometres (in Arunachal Pradesh) to more than 200 kilometres (in Tripura). Other means of transport such as rail, air and water is insignificant in NE (except Assam); however, a few cities of these states having direct air connectivity in the region. The total railway network in the NE is 2602 kilometres (as on 2011), which is only about 4 per cent of the total rail network of the country. Constructions of roads build the road map for development and road is the only means of mass transport for the entire NE of India. Due to hilly terrain and varied altitudes, rail transport is mainly confined to Assam and water transport is almost non-existent. India's road network has benefited greatly from the articulation of the National Highways Development Project (NHDP). The Ministry has formulated the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North East (SARDP-NE) for the development/improvement of more than 10000 kilometres roads in the NE states. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has been paying special attention to the development of national highways in the region and has assigned 10 per cent of the total allocation of fund for the NE region. Another major constraint of surface infrastructure projects in the NE states has to be linked up with parallel developments in the neighboring countries, particularly with Bangladesh. The restoration and extension of pre-partition land and river transit routes through Bangladesh is vital for transport infrastructure in NE states. Other international cooperation, such as, revival of Ledo road (Stilwell road) connecting Ledo in Assam to northern Myanmar and extended up to Kunming in south-eastern China, Kaladan Multimodal Transit Project and Trans-Asian Railways, could open up an eastern window for the land-locked NE states of India. Various regional initiatives, such as, the Bangladesh–China–India–Myanmar (BCIM) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), India–Myanmar–Thailand Trilateral Highway (IMTTH) project to link the markets of South and Southeast Asia, are in very initial stages. [94]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  • This list was truncated from 11 items.

External linksEdit

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