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Special group set up to fast track development in northeast India

Monday, 1 September 2014 - 8:23am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Continuing with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's focus on development of north-eastern region, the prime minister's office has directed the Project Monitoring Group (PMG) to fast track development projects in northeast region. The central government has already identified 21 such key projects worth over Rs1 lakh crore for ensuring faster clearances to them.

During Lok Sabha election campaign and even after that, Modi has been talking about reaching to people of northeast India, who for decades have feeling of being alienated and devoid of development.

Of 21 projects, nine projects are from Arunachal Pradesh alone, seven from Assam, three from Tripura and one each from Meghalaya and Manipur. Their total combined cost at present is Rs 1,00,151 crores.

Also, more than 50 per cent of these projects, at least 11 are power projects including that of transmission lines followed by five railway projects, four related to petroleum and natural gas and one related to cement plant.

For instance, 3097 MW Etalin Hydro Electric Project on Dri River and Tangon River in Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh worth over Rs 24,200 crores, 1800 MW Kamala Hydro Electric Project worth Rs 20,141 crores and 2000 MW Hydro project on Subansiri River in Assam worth Rs 11000 crore are some of the big projects among the list of 21 projects.

It is learnt that "a special informal group has been formed within the PMG of the cabinet secretariat, which is ensuring a special emphasis on these projects."

"The group is taking extreme care that clearances required from various arms of the central government are given at the earliest to these projects. Regular meeting, sometimes on weekly basis, are being taken to fast track these projects and even quick follow up is done to ensure that these projects do not go in back burner," top central government sources told dna.

"Northeast has a huge potential for power projects because of largely untapped hydrological resources. Secondly, this government under PM Modi has cleared its intentions of using railways to connect distant part of India, especially northeastern region, which even after 60 years of independence is still not properly connected with railways," sources said.

Another senior official explained that part from these projects railway ministry on its own is laying a special focus on its projects in northeastern region some of which have even been declared national projects.

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