Fifty-three ministries and departments of the central government have earmarked 10 per cent of their gross budgetary support (GBS) for 'north eastern region' (NER) to be spent as per their own development plans while the total Plan allocation for the north east in the 2014-15 Plan stands at Rs53,706 crore.
The budget for 2014-15 lays special emphasis on improving connectivity, infrastructure and inclusivity in India's North-East and other sensitive border areas on the frontier with China.
Under the master plan for development of railway infrastructure in the north-eastern states all state capitals of the region will be connected through unigauge broad-gauge railway network.
Besides, Plan support will be provided for augmentation of network capacity for handling growth of traffic in future and expansion of network to unconnected areas of the region.
Funds will also be provided for strengthening international borders and improving trade and connectivity with neighbouring countries, minister of state (independent charge) for development of North East Region, Gen (retd) V K Singh, informed the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
The programme involves 20 major infrastructural projects, including construction of new railway lines, doubling and gauge conversion – both sanctioned and ongoing - in North Eastern states. Of these 10 are national projects. Together these major projects cover a length of 2,919 km and involve total estimated cost of Rs38,310 crore, the minister informed.
Under a comprehensive telecom development plan for the North East, the government proposes to provide 2G mobile coverage in identified uncovered areas, besides seamless 2G mobile coverage along the national highways.
All state capitals and district headquarters in the north east will be assured of reliable transmission networks, he stated.
A meeting of the Telecom Commission on 13 June had approved the proposal to implement a comprehensive telecom development plan at an estimated project cost of Rs5,336.18 crore.
It is proposed to develop and upgrade 10,141 km stretches of national highways and state roads, including upgrading of national highways connecting state capitals to 4 lane or 2 lane and to provide connectivity to all 88 district headquarters of NER by at least 2-lane road under a Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North East (SARDP-NE).
A provision of Rs12,130 crore has been made for development of power sector, which inter-alia includes addition of 5596 MW generation capacity in the North East; strengthening of transmission and distribution system in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim at an estimated cost of Rs4,754.42 crore and NER Power System Improvement Project' for strengthening of transmission and distribution system in Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura at an estimated cost of Rs4,923.32 crore.
A provision of Rs2311.37 crore has been made for providing access to electricity to rural households during XII Five Year Plan.
Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has a mandate to develop National Waterways, including National Waterway-2 (River Brahmaputra) from Bangladesh Border (near Dhubri) to Sadiya for the purpose of inland water transport and development of Barak River from Lakhipur to Bhanga (121 km) as a National Waterway at an estimated cost of Rs141 crore at 2014 price.
Singh said the development plans of other ministries are being collected and will be submitted in due course.