India had a misguided policy of keeping border areas less developed because politicians and bureaucrats and generals thought that having fantastic roads in NE (and other border areas) will allow the enemy to move troops and machinery faster inside the Indian territory when the attack came. This has changed only in the last few years. Our look east policy is part of this change. We know what physical connectivity of NE with India is not that great. So, we are trying to get proper transit through BD. And on the other hand, we are trying to connect with the South East Asia, so that NE can be connected to the other side without waiting to connect to this side. Long game.
Via Reddit AMA “I am an officer of the Indian Foreign Service. Ask Me Anything (almost)” (3 years ago).