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NEC proposes Rs 10 crore Iewduh facelift

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, Feb 8: The North Eastern Council (NEC) has proposed a project worth more than Rs 10 crore to give a facelift to Iewduh, one of the oldest traditional markets in the Northeast.
The outgoing NEC secretary, Moses Chalai told reporters on Thursday that there is a need to improve and beautify the Iewduh market, which many visit more than once every day.
He stressed the need for an overhaul, particularly focusing on the outdated water system.
Chalai mentioned plans for a comprehensive revamp of the market’s infrastructure, indicating a forthcoming transformation.
According to the NEC, the project has already been approved but the fund is yet to be sanctioned.
The state government has been asked to rework the detailed project report (DPR) before starting the project, likely in the next three months.
Chalai also said that they are taking up a road project connecting Shillong Airport through the Mawlai Bypass.
He lamented that the capacity to absorb funds in the Northeast has not been up to the mark for quite some time now.
“We cannot move fast unless the state also moves fast. It is interlinked somewhere. Improvement is there and things are likely to improve,” he said.
According to the outgoing NEC secretary, the new fund flow system is not through the state finance department and it goes directly to the vendor.
“It will all depend on the department and the vendor concerned – how they can quickly execute the work. The performance of the eight states is not the same. It is not fair to take names. Some of them need to do better,” he said.
NEC financial adviser, Gaigongdin Panmei that the main issue the council is facing is the inability to spend.
“Availability of budget depends on the expenditure and performance. If you do well, you will get the budget. The government of India will increase the outlaw if you perform well on the ground,” he said.
Chalai, however, said the budget allocation to the Ministry of DoNER has improved from Rs 3,000 crore a few years ago to about Rs 6,000 crore annually. “I think the government of India has realised we can do better,” he said.
Replying to a query, he said the NEC has come across two instances in Meghalaya where it could not start a road project since the state government could not resolve the land issue.
Chalai said the Northeast has in the past few years witnessed a significant infrastructure development with huge improvement in railways, waterways, and airways. There is significant growth in the banking, health, and power sectors too.
He said the Northeast should take advantage of Industrial Policy 4.0, the “way to move forward” with the power of Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things technology.
Stating that India has set a roadmap to become a $30 trillion economy by 2047, Chalai said the northeastern region should aspire for a 5% contribution to the projected economy.
“The contribution of the region will be around $1.5 trillion to the country’s $30 trillion economy. The contribution of the region to the nation’s GDP at present is 2.8%,” he said.

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