During the campaign leading to the 2014 Lok Sabha Election Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called North Eastern states as 'Ashta Lakshi' of India. He always used to tell that there should be balanced development in India and that East and North East should also be as developed as other regions of India.
After coming to power Modi Government has started many projects to develop the North East region and provide citizens residing there with all the modern amenities. A lot still needs to be done before NE states can be called developed states. However, here is a look at how the North East India is developing:
Assessment of Infrastructural Constraints in N-E Region:
The North Eastern Council has been conducting assessment of the various socio-economic challenges and infrastructural constraints being faced in the North Eastern Region, from time to time.
Major ones as figured out by the Council are Perspective Transport Plan for Development of North Eastern Region (NER) which became the basis for the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North East (SARDP-NE), Feasibility Study on Comprehensive Power Transmission and Distribution in NE which formed the basis for Comprehensive Scheme for Transmission and Distribution in NE States, the NER Vision-2020 Document, Feasibility Study Report on Poverty Eradication in NER, Comprehensive Tourism Master Plan for NER, Health Workforce Development Plan for NER and Study on Air Connectivity in NER.
Since its inception the North Eastern Council has invested over Rs. 12,756 crore for development of the NER in sectors such as transport and communication for roads and bridges, bus and truck terminus, airport and air connectivity; power generation and transmission; irrigation and water management; education, community infrastructure and sports; medical and health; agriculture and allied activities; industries; tourism; science and technology; and livelihood.
Physical achievement of the North Eastern Council includes construction of 10949 km. of roads of Inter-State nature and roads of economic importance. 11 Inter-State Bus Terminus and 3 Inter-State Truck Terminus in the North Eastern States.
The North Eastern Council also funded 60 percent of the project costs for upgradation of twelve airports through Airport Authority of India, namely, Guwahati, Silchar, Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Lilabari, Tezpur, Umroi, Lengpui, Dimapur, Imphal, Agartala and Tezu airports.
Besides, the North Eastern Council is instrumental in establishment or funding of several important institutions in the NER that include North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd., (NEEPCO), North Eastern Handicraft and Handlooms Development Corporation Ltd., (NEHHDC), North Eastern Regional Institute of Water and Land Management (NERIWALM), Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Cane and Bamboo Technology Centre (CBTC).
A livelihood project, the NER Community Resource Management Project (NERCORMP) was initially funded jointly with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and subsequently continued with domestic funding.
The project covers eleven Districts in four States, namely, Dima Haso and Karbi Anglong in Assam; Senapati, Ukhrul, Chandel and Churachandpur in Manipur; West Khasi Hills and West Garo Hills in Meghalaya; and Changlang, Longding and Tirap in Arunachal Pradesh.
Modern Facilities in Border States of North-East:
Government is taking steps to accelerate the pace of the socio-economic development of the NER. Provision of modern facilities for all round development of Border States of NE is an ongoing process. Concerned Central Ministries or Departments are required to earmark at least 10% of gross budgetary support for NER. The Ministry of DoNER and NEC provide funds for bridging infrastructure gaps in NER.
Ministry of DONER is administering NLCPR Scheme under which a total of 53 projects of Health Sector amounting to Rs. 63313.36 lakhs and 168 projects in Education Sector amounting to Rs.145416.55 lakhs, have been sanctioned so far.
North Eastern Council (NEC) is also administering schemes under various sectors in North Eastern States. In Industry sector, NEC have 41 on-going projects with an approved cost of Rs.17322.12 lakhs, Health Sector, it has 58 on-going projects with an approved cost of Rs.40870.85 lakh and in Education sector, NEC has 78 on-going projects with an approved cost of Rs.24294.98 lakh.
Ministry of Home Affairs releases funds for development of border areas under the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) scheme. Rs. 27757.86 lakhs has been released in current financial year to meet the special developmental needs of the people lying near the international border.
Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Human Resources Development has sanctioned 630 new schools and selected 3334 schools for strengthening and enhance the quality of education under Rashtriya Madhyamik Shikhsa Abhiyan (RSMA). An amount of Rs.122884.36 lakhs has been released since its inception.
NLCPR Funds Allocated to NE States:
Funds available in Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) are allocated to the North Eastern States for bridging infrastructure gaps based on Priority Lists submitted by respective State Governments.
As on 26.02.2016, under NLCPR 1569 projects at a cost of Rs. 14309.23 crores have been sanctioned out of which 890 projects at a cost of Rs. 5846.20 crores have been completed and 679 projects at a cost of Rs. 8463.01 crores are ongoing at various stages of completion.
In addition, a total of 247 projects have been retained during last three years at a cost of Rs. 3867.90 crores.
In the current Financial Year, as on 26.02.2016, an amount of Rs. 376.61 crores have been released for completion of ongoing projects and 17 new projects have been sanctioned for which Rs. 120.97 crores have been released.