NEC funds for airport delayed

SHILLONG: In a setback that is likely to delay the ongoing work for expansion of the Shillong Airport at Umroi, the Centre has delayed sanction of funds to the North Eastern Council (NEC) for the project.
NEC officials informed that the Council had sent a proposal of Rs 180 crore to the Union Ministry of DoNER for development of infrastructure including expansion of the existing runway at the airport.
However, the Union ministry has intimated that the funds for the airport would be provided to the NEC in the budgetary allocation for the 2016-17 fiscal.
The fund setback comes at a time when all hurdles impeding the airport expansion project had just been cleared following the intervention of the High Court of Meghalaya.
The High Court had, in December last year, directed the authorities to take possession of over 31 acres of land belonging to the Defence authorities required for the expansion project.
Incidentally, State Transport Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh had, on Wednesday, reviewed the ongoing expansion work at the airport. Lyngdoh later revealed that 60 per cent of the work for construction of the perimeter wall of the airport has been completed.
ISBT project: Govt yet to submit utility report
Meanwhile, the NEC informed that it would sanction the second installment of fund for construction of the inter-state bus terminal (ISBT) at Mawiong only after the State government submits the utilization certificate for the first phase of the project.
The NEC officials reminded that the Council had sanctioned Rs 4 crore out of the total of Rs 48 crore as the first installment.
The NEC is funding the ISBT project at a cost of Rs 48 crore.   Earlier this week, State Transport Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh had inspected the ISBT project following which it was decided that the State government would seek Rs 8 crore from NEC for the second phase of the project.
The State government has completed the first phase of the project for which an amount of Rs 4 crore was sanctioned by the council.

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