NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 20: The Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has drawn up a target of over 200 projects worth Rs 3,000 crore in the Northeast, out of which action plan for 201 projects has been finalised.
DoNER Minister Dr Jiendra Singh interacting with the media on completion of 100 days of the Narendra Modi Government disclosed that 110 projects costing Rs 1,699.69 crore have been sanctioned for the Northeast. At least 19 projects costing Rs 641.56 crore have been started, while 66 projects costing Rs 820.77 crore have been completed. At least 6 projects costing Rs 39.95 crore have been operationalised, Dr Singh said.
Among the mega projects sanctioned by the DoNER Ministry includes construction of a double-lane road from Lanka to Umrangso costing Rs 199.50 crore. Another project in Assam is Digboi town water supply scheme built at an estimated cost of Rs 44.52 crore.
The Minister said in-principle approval has been accorded for the first ‘Bamboo Industrial Park’. It will be established at Manderdisa in Dima Hasao district in an area of 75 hectares at a cost of Rs 50 crore. The project is targeted for completion by March 2021.
Dr Singh said that in a record of sorts, the DoNER Ministry has received utilisation certificates (UCs) for funds amounting to over Rs 700 crore from the Northeastern states. He attributed this to revised norms and streamlining of the process of sanctioning funds.
According to the revised guidelines, the Ministry allots only Rs 10 lakh while sanctioning a project, while on issue of work order 40% fund is sanctioned. After that the funds are sanctioned according to progress of the project work. The Ministry has also started monitoring the physical progress of the infrastructure projects using satellite pictures supplied by the North Eastern Space Application Centre.
The Minister said that they have reviewed the long-standing and languishing projects in the region and revised the priority list of the projects. The projects were languishing on account of sanction of funds and non-submission of UCs.
Replying to a query about removal of the special category status, the Minister said that the Modi Government has discarded the old 90:10 funding pattern and instead introduced 100% funding of projects in the Northeast.
Dr Singh said the DoNER Ministry is working on a number of new proposals, including reservation of 2 bogeys of trains for fruits like pineapple. The train bogeys could be used like cold storage and the produce will reach markets in Delhi directly from the Northeast. The pineapples may be procured directly by NAFED on the lines of apples being procured in Jammu & Kashmir, he added.
The next big project the Ministry is working on is introduction of heli-clinic service in remote areas of the Northeast. The idea is to deploy helicopters that will carry doctors and paramedics who will offer OPD (outpatient department) service to the people in remote areas, he said.
The initial dialogue in this regard has been held with Pawan Hans Limited and the DoNER Ministry has already given Rs 100 crore to the Civil Aviation Ministry for the purpose, he said.