Guwahati: Timely execution of central projects in the North East was critical for the overall economic and social development of the region, Union Minister of state for Statistics and Programme Implementation Vijay Goel said here today.
The centre was implementing 44 projects worth more than Rs 50,000 crore in the North East and timely completion was of utmost importance to ensure development, the Minister told reporters after reviewing the progress of central sector infrastructure projects In Road and transport, Petroleum and Natural Gas and railway sectors.
The Ministry reviews projects worth over Rs 150 crore and Goel held review meetings with senior officials of the NHAI, Oil India Limited, North East Frontier Railways and the state government. Referring to the road sector projects being implemented by NHAI, the minister said the officials have pointed out that there was delay in completion of the projects due to natural calamities. “I have asked the officials to separate the problematic areas and go ahead with the completion in the other areas”, he added.
The NHAI has completed 607 km out of total 619 km in Assam but due to public opposition, toll plazas have not started collection leading to losses of Rs 20 to 25 crore of revenue per month. “I have urged the officers of both central and state governments to sort out the issue of setting up the toll plazas to generate both revenue and employment”, the minister said.
The Minister also reviewed the railways’ 176 km New Bongaigaon-Goalpara-Kamakhya Doubling Project which may be delayed due to delay in getting earth cutting permissions on private land from district authorities. “I have requested the state government to take a holistic review of the whole procedure so that the process could be simplified wherever possible”, he added.
The Minister also reviewed the Rs 571.66 crore Augmentation of Pumping Capacity of Barauni-Bongaigaon Phase II project being implemented by Oil India Limited. “There is no constraint in the project which is running as per schedule and once completed, it will enable Guwahati Refinery to receive more imported crude for processing purposes”, Goel added.
The Union Minister said that the centre would provide full support to the projects and stressed the need for regular meetings of the Central Sector Project Coordination Committee (CSPCC) under the Assam Chief Secretary to look into and resolve the problems faced by Central sector PSUs in the state.