GUWAHATI, June 10 � The Government of India has sought 1.5 billion US Dollars from the World Bank for implementing a part of the comprehensive plan to improve power transmission and distribution infrastructure in the North Eastern region and the project information document is likely to be prepared by the end of this month. The World Bank is also discussing with the Government of India for the development of water resources in the North East.
World Bank sources told The Assam Tribune that the Government of India has prepared a comprehensive scheme to augment the existing transmission and distribution infrastructure to facilitate increased availability of power, improve reliability and service across the North East states. The network expansion scheme is part of the Government�s wider efforts to develop energy resources in the North East for supply of electricity inside and outside the region.
Sources said that the fund has been sought by the Government from the World Bank in three parts of 500 million US Dollars each. The comprehensive scheme will cover areas like strengthening and augmenting the intra-state transmission and distribution network in six states of North East, development of institutional capacities for efficient and sustainable operation of the power sector etc. The six states proposed by the Government under the funding request are Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.
World Bank sources said that at the request of the Government of India, the Bank is having discussion with the Department of Development of North Eastern Region (DONER), concerned states and other stakeholders a proposed project to support the development of water resources of the region. The discussions are centered around current efforts on how to ensure that the region�s abundant water resources are harnessed to economic development and poverty reduction. The project will also include disaster management preparedness in the region vulnerable to natural disasters.
Bank sources further said that Assam is the only state in the North East where state specific projects sponsored by the World Bank are now being implemented. Sources said that Assam Roads and Assam Agriculture Competitiveness project, together amounting to 482 million US Dollars are now being implemented. Besides, a Road project is being implemented in Meghalaya, while, the North East Livelihood project will be implemented in the states of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
The recently approved Rural Livelihood Project would be implemented in four states � Nagaland, Mizoram and Sikkim in the initial stages. The project team has made good progress in the start up activities, said World Bank sources.
On the road project in Meghalaya, sources said that the state has one of the lowest levels of connectivity of all weather roads in the country. But since the beginning of the project, Meghalaya has been very enthusiastic about the same and even outperformed some of the advanced states of the country.
The Assam State Roads project has just been launched and its implementation is now commencing. However, at this stage, it is very early to comment on the progress of the project, admitted the World Bank sources.