The state of West Bengal and the eastern Indian recently got its first Vande Bharat Express train connecting Howrah to New Jalpaiguri, which will bring down travel time between Kolkata and Siliguri – the gateway to the Northeast India, considerably.


Mission Purvodaya – Accelerated Development of Eastern Region

  • Background — The Eastern region of India is rich in resources like coal, bauxite with locational advantage with the presence of major ports such as Paradip, Haldia, Vizag, Kolkata. But it lags behind other states in terms of Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) per capita and Human Development Index (HDI) majorly due to poor infrastructure, lack of governance and connectivity.
  • Mission Purvodaya was kickstarted in 2020 to accelerate the development of Eastern India with the establishment of an integrated steel centre in Kolkata, West Bengal. It was focused on the eastern states of India, namely Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and northern Andhra Pradesh, which own chromite, bauxite, and dolomite reserves.
  • Focus area — Mission Purvodaya has now become a framework to transform logistics, infrastructure and multi-modal connectivity in the eastern part of India. For example, projects like the freight corridor, Bharatmala for roadways, and Sagarmala for waterways will further drive economic growth and employment opportunities in the eastern region.
  • The outlay for projects — In the state of West Bengal, Rs 10,262 crore has been earmarked in FY 22-23 which is more than double compared with Rs 4,380 crore on average between FY 2009-10 and FY 2013-14.
  • Progress— The progress is evident as West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha combined have more than 4,700 km of railway track commissioned and 7,277 km of railway lines electrified in the last eight years. Also, 37 world-class stations being developed in the eastern region will revolutionise the transportation of people and goods in tune with the surge in future demand. Also, the highest number of terminals are planned in the Kolkata-Haldia stretch. 


A rising east

  • Logistics growth — Bharatmala Pariyojana will develop 2,500 km of new, greenfield, access- controlled expressways in the eastern region in the next three to four years. Around 1,200 flyovers over rail and underpasses are facilitating seamless road movement.
  • Maritime India Vision (MIV) 2030 — Under this, ports on the east coast and Ro-Ro services will bring new economic opportunities and benefit the local farming community across West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand by transporting goods like mango, milk, silica sand and fish. MIV 2030 visions an overall investment of INR 3 lakh– 3.50 lakh crore across ports, shipping, and inland waterways categories.
  • Boosting digital connectivity — Robust digital infrastructure networks are being envisioned in eastern states to ensure full saturation of telecom services in India. Bharat Net implementation strategy was also revised to improve the internet connectivity in the Northeast states. It includes creation, operation, upgradation, utilisation and maintenance of digital infrastructure in India’s inhabited villages and other remote places.
  • Infrastructure development — 100 lakh crore infrastructure investment was announced by the Government in 2020 for the next 5 years. It will result in an additional boost to construction and infrastructure through various initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Housing), Jal Jeevan Mission (Piped drinking water), etc.


Way ahead

  • Boosting cooperative federalism — Each region owing to its inherent potential and its unique set of resources need distinct infra-development that sets the base for unleashing the latent potential inherent to these areas.
  • Eastern India offering abundant human and natural resources, has many economic and trade opportunities. But its development depends on the state governments’ participation and cooperation with the union government.
  • The states can thus facilitate it through prompt support in land acquisition and better law and order situation to avoid unfortunate delays in critical infrastructure projects.
  • By creating a free, competitive marketplace for businesses to thrive, the GSDP of these states can be further boosted.
  • Enabling local policies, good governance, the rule of law and dynamic and resilient infrastructure can hence ensure all-round development of these states.


In India’s march towards a $5 trillion economy, the eastern states can play a major role by improving the GDP of eastern India and enable the India’s vision ‘Purvodaya’ to become a ‘Sarvodaya’ (Progress for all). India thus must live up to the democratic value of cooperative federalism to remain a bright spot and these eastern states could emerge as torchbearers, leading the path for Aatmanirbhar Bharat to emerge as a developed nation in 2047.

SourceThe Times of India

QUESTION – What is ‘Mission Purvodaya’? How it has been transforming the eastern Indian region with pathbreaking developments? Discuss.