Guwahati, May 05: An interactive session with the chief ministers of Northeastern states was organised on Act East Policy in New Delhi on May 04. Chaired by the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, the interactive session brought to light various initiatives to develop connectivity in the northeastern region, which included the reopening of the Stilwell Road.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal urged the union government to launch direct flights from Guwahati to ASEAN abd BBIN countries in a bid to improve connectivity.
Sonowal urged the centre to take up necessary steps to reopen the Stilwell Road that connects Ledo in Assam with Kunming in China.
Built during the British era, it was earlier known as The Ledo Road. It was built during World War II so that the western allies could supply the Chinese and alternative to the Burma Road. Cut by the Japanese in 1942, it was renamed as the Stilwell Road in the earlier part of 1945.
The road passes through Burma to reach Kunming in China covering a distance of around 1,700 kilometres.
It may be mentioned here that the road is presently unused; a 2010 BBC report stated that much of the road has been swallowed by jungle.
(Information source: Wikipedia)