Out of 36 projects, proposed by the state governments in Northeast under the North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme (NESIDS), only 8 projects have been sanctioned by the DoNER Ministry.
Such a treatment towards the Northeast states has come to light at a time when the central government claims that it is giving special attention towards the development of the Northeast.
Worried over such revelation, a Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by Congress MP Anand Sharma, strongly recommends that all viable projects that are prepared as per the fixed guidelines should be sanctioned at the earliest and implemented without time and cost overrun.
Ironically, several vital and important infrastructure projects like construction of hospitals to fight Covid19 pandemic, and schools are still in the process of being sanctioned.
Out of nine projects, proposed by the Assam government in 2020-21, only one project for upgradation of 24 numbers of existing district hospitals for setting up of 414 ICU beds for treatment of COVID19 patients has been sanctioned by the Centre at a cost of Rs 97.49 crore.
The Assam government proposed a project estimate worth Rs 205.12 crore.
“Project components sanctioned based on recommendations of the Union Health Ministry. Subsequently, the state govt has submitted a supplementary proposal seeking an additional fund of Rs 40.57 crore which could not be sanctioned as the health ministry has some observations on the proposal,” DoNER ministry said.
Remaining 8 projects as proposed by the Assam government have been selected but funds for the same have not been released by the DoNER Ministry.
Two projects proposed by the Arunachal Pradesh government at a cost of Rs 74.39 crore have been sanctioned by the DoNER Ministry with deduction in costs. Both projects are related to the procurement of hospital equipment.
Ironically, out of seven projects proposed by the Manipur government only one has been selected for which process of funding is under progress.
Out of five projects proposed by the Meghalaya government, the DoNER Ministry has sanctioned only two projects at a cost of Rs 79.17 crore.
The Ministry has sanctioned one project of Mizoram government at a cost of Rs 16.16 crore for strengthening health infrastructure for comprehensive response to possible outbreak of Covid-19.
Out of 4 projects proposed by the Nagaland government only one has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 17.96 crore for strengthening health infrastructure for comprehensive response to possible outbreak of Covid-19 in the State.
Significantly, the ministry has not sanctioned even a single project as proposed by the Tripura government.
The Biplab Kumar Deb government of Tripura has proposed four projects for an overall development of the state.
Similarly, no projects have been sanctioned for Sikkim.
The projects taken up under NESIDS will be 100 percent funded by the Government of India. While identifying the projects, emphasis is given to the backward areas by earmarking 25 percent share for them. The NESIDS will be over and above the existing schemes of Government of India and State Governments of the NE Region.
Since approval of NESIDS in 2017, projects worth Rs 1904.94 crore have already been selected for funding out of which 57 projects worth Rs 1799.28 crore have been sanctioned so far.
Under the scheme, only those projects would be taken up which are not covered under any scheme of the Government of India or the state government.
The NLCPR savings of Rs 402.47 crore has been carried forward to NESIDS.