Several infrastructure development projects including connectivity projects have been taken up by the concerned Ministries and Departments of the Central Government in the North Eastern Region (NER). These relate to improving rail connectivity, road connectivity, waterway connectivity, power connectivity and telecom connectivity in the NER. These inter-alia include:-
i. Rail connectivity: As on 01.04.2022, 19 projects costing Rs.77,930 crore for 1,909 km length falling fully/ partly in North Eastern Region including those sanctioned during the period from 2004 to 2013 (except Agartala-Sabroom new line project and Lumding-Hojai Doubling project) are under different stages of planning/ approval/ execution, out of which 409 km length has been commissioned and an expenditure of Rs.30,312 crore incurred upto March, 2022. These include (i) 14 New Line Projects covering a length of 1,181 km at a cost of Rs.61,520 crore, out of which 361 km length has been commissioned and an expenditure of Rs.27,458 crore incurred upto March, 2022; and (ii) 5 Doubling/ Multitracking Projects covering a length of 728 km at a cost of Rs.16,410 crore, out of which 48 km length has been commissioned and an expenditure of Rs.2,854 crore incurred upto March, 2022. Agartala-Sabroom new line project (112 km) was sanctioned in 2008-09 and commissioned in 2019-20. Lumding-Hojai Doubling project (45 km) was sanctioned in 2012-13 and commissioned in 2019-20.
ii. Road Connectivity: During the period from 2004 to 2013, Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has undertaken 394 projects of total road length 5595.14 km costing Rs. 23038.58 crore for connectivity and development in the North Eastern States. Out of which, 337 projects of total road length 4232.55 km costing Rs. 13154.86 crore have been completed, and 57 projects of total road length 1362.60 km costing Rs. 10073.64 crore are ongoing.
iii. Waterway connectivity: National Waterway-2 (NW-2) (river Brahmaputra) was declared in 1988 from Dhubri to Sadiya in the State of Assam for a length of 891 km and was developed and maintained with terminal facilities, fairway and navigation aids. To maintain waterway connectivity between NW-1 & NW-2 in North Eastern Region, maintenance of Indo-Bangladesh Protocol (IBP) Route was continued which existed since 1972, under which inland vessels of one country can transit through the other country. During the period 2004-2013, 03 projects on Brahmaputra River (NW-2) in Assam and 02 projects of Indo-Bangladesh Protocol on Transit and Trade were undertaken for connectivity to North Eastern Region
iv. Power connectivity: Ministry of Power had undertaken Inter-State Transmission System (ISTS) projects through Regulated Tariff Mechanism (RTM) and Tariff Based Competitive Bidding (TBCB) mode in the North Eastern States. During the period from 2004-2013, 03 projects costing Rs.11178.26 crore were undertaken by POWERGRIDE under RTM in NER and 01 project under scheme for enabling import of NER/ER surplus by NR through TBCB mode.
v. Telecom connectivity: BharatNet project (earlier known as National Optical Fiber Network) was initially approved by the Union Cabinet on 25.10.2011. BharatNet project is implemented in a phased manner to provide broadband connectivity through an optimal mix of media (Optical Fibre Cable /Radio/Satellite) to all Gram Panchayats (GPs) of the country, including NER. As on 04.07.2022, total 5804 GPs have been made Service Ready in NER States.
For providing broadband connectivity to Rural & Remote areas, Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) signed an agreement with BSNL on January 20, 2009. Under this scheme, as of 31st January 2015, a total of 15,313 broadband connections and 270 kiosks were set up in NER.
A scheme has been launched by USO Fund to provide subsidy support for setting up and managing infrastructure sites/ towers spread for provision of mobile services in the specified rural and remote areas, where there was no existing fixed wireless or mobile coverage. Under this scheme, as on 30th November, 2013, 542 towers were set up, and 963 BTSs were commissioned in NER.
Agreements were signed with BSNL in the year 2003 for replacement of VPTs with reliable technologies, which were earlier working on Multi Access Radio Relay (MARR) technology and installed before 01.04.2002. Under this scheme, as on 30th June 2012, total 12576 MARR VPTs were replaced, in NER. All the remaining inhabited villages as on 01.10.2007 as per Census 2001 have been included for provision of VPTs with subsidy support from USO Fund under this scheme. Agreements in this regard were signed with BSNL on 27.02.2009. Under this scheme, as on 30th March, 2015, total 38,220 VPTs were replaced in NER.
In addition, Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) implemented various schemes/packages viz. Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR) Scheme, Special Packages of Assam for Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), Schemes of North Eastern Council (NEC), for the development of North Eastern Region. Under these developmental schemes/packages, 1689 projects worth Rs.17,748.54 crore, including connectivity projects, were sanctioned during the financial years 2004-05 to 2013-14. The year-wise details of the projects sanctioned are as under:
(Rs. in crore)
Projects sanctioned under schemes of MDoNER and NEC
The State-wise status of the projects sanctioned under the Schemes of MDoNER and NEC during the financial years 2004-05 to 2013-14 is as under:-
(Rs. in crore)
*Projects sanctioned to different agencies for various sectors under Schemes of NEC for all the North Eastern States.
This information was given by Minister of Development of North Eastern Region Shri G. Kishan Reddyin a written reply in Lok Sabha today.
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