The capitals of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura have been connected by broad gauge rail network and the government plans to connect all state capitals of North Eastern states by 2020 except Sikkim, the Rajya Sabha was informed Friday. In the case of Sikkim, a new line work has been sanctioned up to Rangpo in the first phase, he said.
Replying to a question if the target of connecting state capitals of North Eastern States by 2020 would be met, Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi Channabasappa said the speed of execution is good, though completion of projects is related to availability of land.
The House was also informed that the average annual expenditure in new line/gauge conversion/doubling infrastructure projects during 2014-19 was Rs 25,894 crore per year as against Rs 11,527 crore per year during 2009-14, up around 125 per cent. The average allotment per year for North Eastern states was Rs 2,121 crore per year from 2009-14.
However, it increased 161 per cent to Rs 5,531 crore per year for this region during 2014-19. Replying to a question on Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), Minister of Rural Development Narendra Singh Tomar said the budget allocation under the scheme were on an increasing trend.
The budget has increased to Rs 61,830.09 crore during 2018-19 from Rs 48,220.26 crore during 2016-17. He also assured members that there would be no shortage of funds for the scheme. The central government has been notifying wage rates from 2011-12 onwards. Wage rates differ from state to state.