Funds rain on Meghalaya

Shillong, Nov. 19: A spate of projects amounting to crores of rupees has been sanctioned by the North Eastern Council (NEC) for Meghalaya alone during the current financial year.

The projects relate to sports infrastructure and human resource development, tourism, power and healthcare upgrade. There are also ongoing projects from the Eleventh Plan which are mostly related to improvement of roads.

"All the projects are being implemented on a 90:10 basis where 90 per cent funds come from the NEC and the remaining from the state government," NEC director (HRD and planning) Sherry Lalthangzo told this correspondent.

In April this year, the council had released the first instalment for setting up floodlights at the Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Complex, Polo ground, here. The total project cost is around Rs 4.99 crore.

Another project of around Rs 4.72 crore has been sanctioned for improving facilities at the sports complex. The facilities to be improved include players' dressing rooms, a gallery, a medical hall and a ball boys' room among others.

On human resource, the council has sanctioned Rs 3 crore for upgrading two District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) located at Baghmara in South Garo Hills and Tura in West Garo Hills. In the tourism sector, Rs 2.84 crore will be utilised for renovating tourist lodges at Williamnagar in East Garo Hills, besides Baghmara and Siju in South Garo Hills.

In the health sector, Rs 9.49 crore has been sanctioned for the district hospitals in Nongstoin in West Khasi Hills, Nongpoh in Ri Bhoi, Williamnagar and Tura.

The amount will be utilised for putting in place radiology and imaging facilities, emergency and casualty units, intensive care units, operation theatre equipment, labour room upgradation and others.

In the Eleventh Plan period, an amount of Rs 4.98 crore was sanctioned for upgrading the facilities at Shillong Civil Hospital by putting in place dialysis, endoscopy, operation theatre equipment and emergency wards.

Last year, Rs 4.91 crore was sanctioned for the Tura civil hospital for upgrading laboratory and diagnostic facilities.

In the power sector, Rs 3.4 crore has been accorded for the construction of a new 33KV line from Khliehtyrshi to Wahiajer in West Jaintia Hills. Lalthangzo also said there is a possibility of sanctioning at least two new projects relating to agriculture in the state ' the first is a seed-testing laboratory and the other lemon cultivation for enhancing better livelihood and nutrition security in the state.

Based on the concept paper submitted by the agriculture department and the directorate of horticulture, the cost for the above two projects is estimated at Rs 5 crore and Rs 4.91 crore respectively.

"But we are yet to accord the final sanction as we have not received the detailed project reports," she said.

The official said that based on a priority list submitted by the states, all the project proposals are being scrutinised by the council under the chairmanship of secretary, U.K. Sangma, and his team of officers along with officials from the state governments.