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 said today. North Eastern Council 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.
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