Cabinet Secretary assures NE states of removing bottlenecks

Cabinet Secretary assured that Centre was committed to remove the existing bottlenecks to ensure that the momentum of development in the North East.

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