Following is a big excerpt from a Telegraph report.

Naveen Patnaik today insisted on the correction of regional imbalance in the country.

“National integration cannot be complete unless there is equitable growth,” he said, while participating in the deliberations of the sub-committee of National Integration Council at New Delhi today.

Historically, the eastern region has not been able to develop as fast as some of the other regions of the country. Enormous resources are required to improve the infrastructure of this region in the form of roads, railways, ports and power.

Without such infrastructure this region cannot attract the kind of investment that would be required for a holistic growth of the national economy, argued Patnaik.

“This may ultimately lead to marginalisation of these regions which would be detrimental to national integration,” he said.

The committee accepted his suggestion and agreed to include this as an agenda of the meeting of the National Integration Council that is going to take place shortly. Naveen also observed that it is equally important to develop human resource of the backward region for the people of those areas to reap the benefits of economic growth. He stressed the need for enrichment of the social capital of the states.

“The country should be prepared to invest in education, including technical education, health, sanitation and governance with special emphasis on the eastern region of the country,” he said.

Patnaik further offered to host the meeting of the Eastern Zonal Council at Bhubaneswar, which was accepted by Union home minister Shivraj Patil, who chaired the meeting today.