Slow progress of projects in BTC

Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Feb 14: Expressing dismay over the slow progress of projects in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC), a parliamentary panel has asked the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) to intervene and put in place an effective monitoring mechanism.

In its latest report submitted to the Parliament, the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of DoNER said that it is dismayed with the fund utilisation capacity of the BTC as the council was not able to absorb the allocated fund for developmental activities.

The panel found that no funds were utilised for the financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20. It suggested that funds should be utilised not only optimally and efficiently but also expeditiously by the BTC so that it can lead to socio-economic infrastructure development in the area.

“The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the Ministry of DoNER must take a lead in coordinating with the Government of Assam and the BTC for formulating infrastructure projects so that all proposals of the BTC are submitted in time for final approval,” the report said.

The panel further recommended that the Ministry of DoNER must have appropriate monitoring mechanism in place to ensure speedy execution of projects undertaken, including release of funds and furnishing of utilisation certificates so that projects are completed without any time and cost overrun.

In its action taken report, the ministry said that under special development package of BTC, all the funds made available for the financial year 2019-20 have been utilised. Against the BTC package value of Rs 750 crore, all 65 projects with approved cost of Rs 749.64 crore have already been taken up.

Completion certificate in respect of 51 projects costing Rs 570.19 crore has been received from the State government so far, it said, adding that all proactive initiatives have been undertaken to expedite the implementation of projects.

About the Dima Hasao Territorial Council, the panel observed that the council was not able to absorb the allocated fund and “only 4.25 per cent funds have been utilised in the year 2019-20.” The panel recommended that the council must expedite the utilisation process by executing all undertaken projects in a time-bound manner.

In its action taken report, the Ministry of DoNER said that under the special development package of Rs 200 crore for the Dima Hasao council, all the projects costing Rs 199.82 crore have been identified. “The matter is being regularly followed up with the State government for timely release of funds and speedy execution of projects,” it said.