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Power, road and industry prioritised in next fiscal

Written by: Staff
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Shillong, Mar 26: The Meghalaya government has prioritised roads, power and industries in the next fiscal with a total allocation of Rs 374.25 crore to boost the growth in the state.

The government had termed roads and bridges as the ''most important infrastructure'' and observed that the road density in the state 36km/100 sq km is lower than the national average.

During the next financial year it was proposed to take up 89 km of new road construction, 166 kms under metalling and black topping, 70 km for improvement and widening works and 848 running metre (RMS) for construction of major and minor bridges.

Official sources said the land acquired for the Shillong bypass has already been taken over and construction of the bypass would be undertaken by the National Highway Authority of India.

The PWD was provided Rs 112.13 crore for the new fiscal for the construction of some major building projects such as the Meghalaya House at Mumbai, Jail Complex at Nongpoh (Ri-Bhoi district) and the reconstruction of Meghalaya House at Russel Street, Kolkata.

The government had also expressed concern over the recent power crisis though Meghalaya earlier enjoyed the distinction of being a power surplus state.

With the fast pace of industrialisation, the demand for power has gone up significantly and the government has earmarked Rs 242.35 crore for the purpose.

The peak power requirement in the state is 315 MW against the installed capacity of 185.20 MW.

To tide over the crisis, the government has adopted a two-pronged strategy. One to bridge the gap in power generation and second to increase capacity in the transmission sector and avail of state share of power available from the Central sector power stations.

A total of 3806 villages in the state had been electrified till December last year under rural electrification programme.

The Centre sponsored Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) was also launchd in the state, to provide access to electricity to all rural households within a period of five years.

A total amount of Rs 235.33 crore has been sanctioned for schemes under the Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (APDRP) over the last five year period. These schemes are scheduled to be completed within 2006-07. While, plans are afoot to increase generating capacity, the government has said it would continue to accord priority to the development of industries in the state.

Twenty-six industrial units had been set up in the industrial area at Umian and 77 up in the Export Promotion Industrial Park at Byrnihat and the declared schedule area at Khanapara.

These undertakings had generated about 6,500 job opportunities based on local resources.

The small Scale Sector had generated 28,286 employment opportunities through 5,101 registered industrial units in the state.

The Meghalaya Khadi and Village Industries Board will continue to extend financial assistance under the Rural Employment Generation Programme with margin money to the extent of 30 per cent of the project cost.

The Meghalaya Handloom and Handicrafts Corporation will provide a viable platform for popularisation, marketing and sale of local handloom and handicraft products.

UNI

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