I have gone through your editorial column dtd. 21st October, 2017 on the topic “Time to Reassess the NEC”. Since the findings are far from the truth, I would like to bring the facts for your information.
North Eastern Council (NEC) was constituted as a statutory advisory body under the NEC Act 1971 and came into being on the 7th November, 1972. Created to complement and supplement the developmental efforts of the States, NEC has been instrumental in setting up iconic North East Police Academy (NEPA), Meghalaya, North East Regiol Institute of water & Land Magement (NERIWALAM), Assam, North East Regiol Institute of Science & Technology (NERIST), Aruchal Pradesh, Regiol Institute of Paramedical & Nursing Sciences (RIPANS), Mizoram, Cane & Bamboo Technology Centre (CBTC), Burnihat, Assam, North Eastern Space Application Centre (NESAC), Shillong, Meghalaya, North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd. (NEEPCO), Dr. Bhubaneswar Barooah Cancer Institute (BBCI), Guwahati, Assam, Regiol Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Imphal, Manipur, Lokapriya Gopith Bordoloi Regiol Institute of Mental Health (LGBRIMH), Tezpur, Assam, Regiol Dental College (RDC), Guwahati, Assam, Regiol Nursing College (RNC), Guwahati, Assam, Regiol Institute of Pharmaceutical Science & Technology (RIPSAT), Agartala, Tripura, North East Regiol Agriculture & Marketing Corporation Ltd. (NERAMAC) etc.
Besides the above, more than 10,500 KM of roads, 694.5 MW of power plants, 2540.41 KM of transmission & distribution lines and eleven Inter-State Bus terminus (ISBT) projects have been constructed across different States with the NEC funding. The North Eastern Region Community Resource Magement Project (NERCORMP), a sustaible Livelihood Project is the Flagship Programme of NEC, is being implemented in 2500 villages in the most backward districts of the Region. Since 1999 NERCORMP has transformed the life of over 1,19,000 rural women.
The NEC is governed by its Plery Council consisting of the Governors and Chief Ministers of all the eight North Eastern states, two nomited Members and its Chairman, the Union Minister for Development of the North Eastern Region. All Members take active part in the NEC Plery deliberations held every year and their suggestions and advice are meticulously followed up. Being located in the Region, NEC has its ear very close to the ground and, due to the composition of its Council, is able to bring in equitable development in critical areas throughout the Region.
As far as its relationship with the Ministry of the Development of the North Eastern Region (DONER) is concerned, budgetary support for implementation of the NEC schemes is provided through the Ministry of DoNER. To further strengthen the synergy, the Secretary, Ministry of DoNER has recently been made the ex-officio Member of the NEC while the Secretary, NEC has been made the ex-officio Additiol Secretary of the Ministry of DoNER. This arrangement has ensured better coordition between the Ministry of DoNER and the NEC.
There are a number of organizations now functioning under Ministry of DoNER for Development of the North Eastern Region. Apart from playing its defined role, NEC has been playing a catalytic role on behalf of Govt. of India in seeing that efforts of all these organizations yield result. I am enclosing herewith a copy of NEC’s last 3 years Achievement Report which may give you an idea about the role it has been playing. You may find that in the last 3 years NEC has taken up 103 successful projects in the North Eastern Region.
The strategic importance, ethnic diversities and difficult topographical conditions of the NER is well understood by the NEC. Therefore, after extensive consultations, the NEC has recently filised a Sector-wise outline of development plans and projects for the three years beginning April 2017 with a view to accelerating the pace of development in the Region. Doing away with it would deprive the Government of India of a Central body in the Region which can be instrumental in bringing about balanced equitable development in NE India. Needless to say, NEC requires adequate fund allocation for fulfilling the dreams of the North Eastern Region as a whole.
Mas Ranjan Mahapatra,
Director (Information & PR),
NEC Secretariat, Ministry of DoNER.
We fully stand by our editorial published on October 21, 2017.