The Centre has advised state governments in the North-east region to submit Utilisation Certificates (UC) of Central projects within one year or else the funds will stop, a top official of the North Eastern Council (NEC) said on Tuesday.
NEC secretary Ram Muivah said, “They (state governments) must submit Utilisation Certificates within one year failing which the Ministry of Finance, our chief controller of accounts, will stop release of funds for any project of more than one and a half year.”
He said, “From now on we (the NEC) will be very strict. Projects delayed by five years will automatically be closed and be treated in ‘as is where is basis’, in consultation with the respective state governments.” The NEC official also informed that no projects will be funded for over five years.
“We will leave it and close it and the liability will be taken over by the state governments,” he said. Several major projects funded by the NEC are facing undue delays in all the states in the region, according to the NEC monthly report. Some of these projects were delayed by over 100 months.
Reacting to delays of projects in Meghalaya, Muivah said that although the construction is slightly slow in the state but the qualities are good at least for the projects under NEC. The NEC has, however, exempted power and road projects, he said.
“Exception for power was because they have to survey the flow of water and the volume of water and this takes up to three to four years,” he said adding that as far as roads is concerned, roads of longer distance may not be possible to complete within five years.
Meanwhile, the NEC has appointed IIT-Guwahati as the regional labour monitor for the North East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS), Muivah said, adding that they have already submitted their findings. Under the NERSDS, the NEC has submitted nearly 50 roads to the Centre with a total budget of over Rs 3500 crore, Muivah said.
The proposal is accepted by the DoNER ministry and the same is under examination of the Ministry of Finance. “Once that is approved, we hope to be able to improve the roads (to be identified by the state government) for the next three years. Our focus will be interstate roads as the Ministry has advised us to take up and focus on the interstate road,” he said.
Meanwhile, a Satellite-based Information Kiosk (SBIK) developed by the North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC) was on Tuesday inaugurated at the NEC headquarters in Shillong.
Ram Muivah inaugurated the kiosk, considered as one of the unique initiatives of NEC executed by NESAC in close collaboration with State Remote Sensing Applications Centres of North Eastern Region to showcase the capability of Space Technology inputs for developmental planning activity through single window system.
He said the kiosk was launched with an objective to strengthen the planning and monitoring mechanisms of the projects funded by NEC and other organizations of Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and various Central Government Departments in the NER.
Similar kiosks have been installed at the chief secretary s offices of all eight NE states and also at the NEC office in Delhi, Muivah said. He said the kiosk would contain information on land use land cover (LULC), wetlands, wastelands, forest working plan, land degradation map (LDM), roads, drainages and settlements, soil map on each of the states.
It will also have ground water prospect map, wetlands infrastructures, inputs for disaster managements support programme, using space technology inputs for satellite data coupled with intense ground truth for different periods and scales.
It is installed in a Touch Screen Based System and allows users to get live weather updated from MOSDAC site of ISRO and Bhuvan Satellite and Base Data. It is also linked with the Geoportal North Eastern District Resources Plan developed by NESAC, he said. The kiosk has become one of the important tools for a large number of Line Departments of North Eastern Region.