Shillong, Aug. 7: The biggest challenge encountered by funding agencies in the Northeast is the capacity to develop projects and execute the same.
Revealing this here today, Asian Development Bank (ADB) country director Hun Kim said, “Implementation of projects is challenging.”
He said the capacity to develop projects and to execute the same is a big challenge for the agencies in the region.
“For civil works, we need contractors. But because of the distance and where projects have been traditionally smaller, it is difficult to attract them (competent contractors) to the region,” Kim added.
The difficult terrain and shortage of human resource and the small contribution by respective states towards the projects were some of the other challenges coming in the way of implementing the projects in the region.
“But agencies like the ADB, World Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are helping the states of the region to build capacity in order to attract more competent contractors to execute the projects. The externally aided projects in this part are still new and are at an early stage. But we expect that the projects will grow over time,” Kim said.
The ADB official was here to discuss issues and challenges confronting the region in developing and executing infrastructure of the projects.
The meeting was also attended by officials of the Union government and representatives from the states concerned. For the past five years now, multilateral agencies have come to the region to fund various projects with assistance from the Centre.
The support from the Centre has motivated construction companies to come to the region to implement big projects. In Assam, the ADB has funded close to $1 billion. One of the projects is the Assam power sector enhancement investment programme (facility concept), where the ADB approved $200,000 in 2009.
Other projects approved by the ADB includes the energy efficiency enhancement project in Assam ($1,000,) Assam power sector enhancement investment programme — project 1 ($61,300,) Assam power sector enhancement investment programme — tranche 2 ($89,700) and Assam power sector enhancement investment programme-tranche-3 ($50,00).
The ADB is also funding the Northeast capital cities development investment programme, where the beneficiaries include Agartala, Aizawl, Kohima, Gangtok and Shillong. The project, worth $200,000, was sanctioned in 2009. The World Bank is funding the construction of rural roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana while IFAD is funding the Meghalaya livelihoods improvement project.