All non-exempt Ministries/Departments, including Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of Power and Ministry of Shipping, are required to earmark 10% of their schematic budget for the North Eastern Region. The Government had enhanced the earmarked outlay for NER under 10% Gross Budgetary Support (GBS), from Rs.31738.58 crore (RE) in 2016-17 to Rs.40971.69 crore (RE) in 2017-18. This has been further increased to Rs.47994.88 crore (BE) in 2018-19.
Some of the major infrastructure projects, inter alia, include Comprehensive Telecom Development Plan (CTDP) for the North Eastern Region (NER) at an estimated cost of Rs.5336.18 crore under which USOF has signed an agreement with BSNL to install 2817 mobile towers for providing mobile coverage in 4119 uncovered villages of Arunachal Pradesh and two districts of Assam at an estimated cost of Rs.2258 crore; Broad Gauging & Capital Connectivity Rail Projects; Comprehensive Scheme for Strengthening of Transmission & Distribution Systems (CSST&DS) in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim at an estimated cost of Rs.4754.42 crore; Bharatmala Pariyojana; North East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS) etc.
Under Bharatmala Pariyojana, road stretches aggregating to about 5301 km in NER have been approved for improvement. Out of this, 3246 km road length has been approved for development of Economic Corridor in North East. To augment railway network, 5 railway projects consisting of 3 new lines and 2 doublings have been taken up during last two years which are at various stages of execution. For providing cross-border rail linkage, foundation stone for Agartala-Akhaura Rail-Link was laid in July, 2016 which will connect the existing Agartala station in Tripura to Akhaura Station of Bangladesh Railways. The cost of Indian portion of the project is Rs.580 crore, which is being borne by Ministry of DoNER while the Bangladesh portion is being funded by Ministry of External Affairs as grant assistance.
19 new waterways (11 in Assam, 5 in Meghalaya, 1 each in Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram & Nagaland) have been declared as National Waterways (NWs) in North East. Moreover, 100% subsidy is being provided by Ministry of Shipping under Central Sector Scheme for development of IWT infrastructure in North Eastern States.
A new Greenfield Airport has been constructed at Pakyong (Gangtok) at a revised cost of Rs.553 crore, suitable for operation of ATR-72 type of aircraft with Apron, terminal building of 100 pax. Moreover, Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS-UDAN) has been launched to provide connectivity to unserved and under-served airports and promote regional connectivity by making the airfare affordable through Viability Gap Funding (VGF).
In addition to the efforts made by infrastructure Ministries/Departments, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) through its schemes of Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR)-State, North Eastern Council and North East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS), have taken steps to bridge infrastructure gaps in North Eastern Region. Under NERSDS, upgradation/rehabilitation of 3 nos. of Inter-State roads has been taken up during last 2 years in NER. Recently, a 100% Centrally funded North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS) has been approved for implementation by the Ministry of DoNER to meet the gaps for development of basic infrastructure in identified sectors.
This information was provided by the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.
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