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Monday, 01 Sep 2014
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New Projects - Northeast in Centre’s Radar

The Central government has recently come out with a slew of initiatives to upgrade the infrastructure facilities in the northeast region. The measures include putting on the fast track key delayed projects as well as announcing greenfield projects.


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Twenty one key projects in the northeast, worth over Rs one lakh crore, have been put on the fast track by the Centre. Of these, nine projects are in Arunachal Pradesh, seven in Assam, three in Tripura and one each in Meghalaya and Manipur. Further, about 11 of these are power projects including transmission lines, five railway projects, four petroleum projects and one cement plant.


High ticket projects on the list include the 3,097 MW Etalin Hydroelectric Project in Dibang Valley district of Arunachal Pradesh. The Rs 21,820 crore project is being implemented by Etalin Hydro Electrical Power Company (EHEPCL), a Jindal Group JV. The project was envisaged in 2007 but has made little progress since then. RfQs for the hydroelectric power project were invited in July 2014. In the coming months, the ambitious hydro project is expected to see some progress.



Rail projects on the fast track list include the 125 km Jiribam-Imphal railway line in Manipur. The Rs 5,996 crore railway project of Northeast Frontier Railway will be implemented in phases. The rail line was earlier expected to be completed by March 2016 but due to delays, is now likely to be completed by March 2018.


Staying true to its election manifesto, the NDA government is giving special emphasis on massive infrastructure development in the northeast. As stated in the Railway Budget 2014-15, an outlay of Rs 5,116 crore has been earmarked for projects of the northeast, the highest allocation for the region so far. The 54 per cent Y-o-Y jump over allocations was exclusively for putting pending railway projects on the fast track.


Similarly, an amount of Rs 3,000 crore has been budgeted for highway projects in the northeast region during the current fiscal.


The government is also considering setting up three greenfield airports in the northeast. These airports are proposed at Pakyong in Sikkim, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh and Chiethu in Nagaland.


As for power projects, the Manipur government recently signed Pre-Implementation Agreements (PIA) towards allotment of four hydroelectric projects to the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation (NEEPCO) for detail investigation and subsequent execution. These projects include the 51 MW Tuivai hydroelectric project to be located at Delkhai in Churachandpur district; 67 MW Khongnem Chakha hydroelectric project to be built at Maram centre, Senapati; and the 190 MW Pabaram and 60 MW Irang hydroelectric projects, both located at Tangmelong district. The four projects are likely to be completed within five years.


Apart from these, the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has sanctioned seven new projects during the current fiscal year, upto 30 June, 2014. These projects, worth a combined approved cost of Rs 87.88 crore, have been sanctioned under the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) scheme. These include the 23 km Nyodu Sibe Siru road project in West Siang, Arunachal Pradesh, and the remodelling of electrical installation works at Rhenock Bazar and adjoining areas in East Sikkim.


In a conference of chief ministers of North Eastern States organised by DoNER on 21 August, the lack of infrastructure was stated as one of the main problems in the inter-state border areas. The meet called for significant investment in infrastructure for improving connectivity by road, railways, airways, and inland water transport in the northeast states.


ProjectsToday hopes the above projects will be executed in time. It is the call of the day, if we want to integrate the northeast region with the overall development of India.


Quote of the week:

  Rohit Bansal, Co-founder, Sanpdeal
"Improved connectivity would not only bring about all-round development of the north-east region but also bring the region closer to the mainstream…Roads, railway projects and development of inland water transport need to be adequately funded to bring about inclusive development of the region"
- Tarun Gogoi, Chief Minister of Assam


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