Cabinet Secretary assures NE states of removing bottlenecks
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Last Updated: Saturday, November 27, 2010, 22:45
Guwahati: Union Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar Saturday assured the North Eastern states that the Centre was committed to remove the existing bottlenecks to ensure that the momentum of development in the North East was maintained and even accelerated.

"Due attention must be paid to provide security for projects under implementation, so that there are no slippages", Chandrasekhar said at a meeting while reviewing the progress of major infrastructure projects related to foodgrains, petroleum products storage projects, major roads and railway projects with the Chief Secretaries of the eight North Eastern states.

"The state governments are requested to make suitable arrangments so that personnel working on projects feel safe and protected enough to work on projects unhindered", he said. The meeting also discussed the request of some state governments for increasing funding under Border Areas Development Programme where adequate border posts were not available as yet.

The need for opening up trade with South East Asian countries, particularly Bangladesh and Myanmar, was also discussed and it was agreed that these issues, which include review of items currently allowed under border trade, would be examined by the Ministry of External Affairs and Ministry of Commerce for initiating suitable negotiations with the concerned countries, official sources said.

Chandrasekhar pointed out that the need for better connectivity throughout the North East had resulted in sanctioning of a large number of projects, which would have to be implemented in a time bound manner with active collaboration of the states and central government agencies.

The frequent disruptions in movement of essential commodities in several states of the region had also highlighted the critical need to ensure adequate rail and road network as well as adequate storage facilities both for foodgrains and petroleum products, he said.

"The Ministry of Railways have an investment plan of more than Rs 17,000 crore in projects to be completed by 2015 and already eleven new line projects, three gauge conversion projects and one doubling project are in progress", he said.

In respect of roads, it has been decided that work on NH 44, NH 53 and NH 39 would be taken up on a priority basis and efforts would be made to speed up work, including maintenance, before onset of the next monsoon, he said.

"These projects will be taken up as per schedule and funding will not be a constraint while the outher issues will be taken up by the concerned Ministries and the state governments at the earliest , he added.

It has been decided that the Chief Secretary of each state will set up a committee headed by him to monitor and ensure that projects progress according to the agreed timeliness.


First Published: Saturday, November 27, 2010, 22:45

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