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400 projects pending in NE
NEW DELHI/Itanagar, AUG 3 (Agencies):
Published on 4 Aug. 2009 1:00 AM IST
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Over 400 projects sanctioned by the Centre have been pending in Northeastern states, a number of them for over three years due to various reasons including law and order issues and limitation of technical expertise in the region. Minister for Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) BK Handique told Rajya Sabha that out of total 666 sanctioned projects, 402 have not started yet due to various bottlenecks. “The main reason for their pendency, inter alia, includes the shorter working period because of long rainy season in the North East, delay in release of funds by state governments to the implementing agencies, law and order problem and limitation of technical expertise,” he said. Handique said his ministry is regularly monitoring implementation of different projects. “The state governments have been advised to ensure timely release of funds to the implementing agencies and also review the progress on quarterly basis,” he said. The DoNER ministry provides central assistance for developmental projects in the northeastern region under Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR). The North Eastern Council also sanctions projects for the region. Replying to a separate question, Handique said weak internal revenue generation capacity, remote geographical location and hilly terrain are the main hurdles in initiating infrastructure development projects in the region. He said the Centre has decided to improve road, rail and air connectivity in the region during the 11th Plan period. Handique said a Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North East (SARDP-NE) has been formulated by the government with the objective to upgrade national highways in the region. Under the first phase of the scheme, approximately Rs16,286 crore would be spent for 2,616 kms of roads. The first phase of the SARDP-NE is targeted for completion by 2012-13. To improve air connectivity to and within the region, he said, the North East Council has taken up a project for improvement of ten airports in the region. The airports to be improved under the project are Guwahati, Imphal, Dimapur, Tezpur, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Lilabari, Agartala, Silchar and Shillong. DoNER ropes in IIM In an effort to update the officials and enhance their capabilities, the Department for Development of Northeast Region (DoNER) has roped in the services of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Kolkata. The IIM has conducted a series of short duration training programmes for the NE government officials at Kolkata recently. The programmes were conducted on topics ranging from creating customer-oriented public services, general management programme, disaster management to attracting investment and services, official sources said here today. According to UNI report, the programme, ‘Destination North-East’, attracting investment and services, was attended by NE senior administrative, horticulture, tourism and industry officials, including a chief engineer from Mizoram. Arunachal Pradesh was represented by Tirap district deputy Commissioner Ankur Garg, Circle Officer Mitali Namchoom, Trade and Commerce Deputy Director S Modi and industry officials B R Dey and Gyati Kacho. IIM professors Anjan Roychaudhuri and Sushil Khanna were the programme directors and the course was designed to explore the potentials of NE states. in industry, tourism, service sectors to identify the critical gaps hindering investments from outside. Discussions among participants and professors and case studies on relevant topics were part of the programme. The management Gurus apprised the participants with professional skills to measure the level of prevailing situation particularly in tourism sector and the methods needed to overcome the critical gaps to attract potential investors and tourists, the sources added.

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