Union DoNER minister Jitendra Singh on Friday claimed that the international border in the Northeast (around 5,500km-long) had been effectively sealed to enforce the lockdown to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.
“The lockdown in the northeastern states is being effectively enforced,” Singh said at a review meeting through video-conferencing in New Delhi.
The meeting was held in the presence of officials of DoNER ministry, North Eastern Council (NEC) and North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited (NEDFi), in view of outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and measures being taken to fight the disease in the region.
The meeting was attended by the DoNER secretary, additional secretary, NEC secretary, NEDFi chairman and managing director and other senior officials of the ministry and NEC.
As decided earlier, the ministry and NEC have already sanctioned Rs 25 crore to the northeastern states for gap funding to fight Covid-19 effectively. The funds are in the nature of untied funds, which can be utilised on any activity relating to the pandemic, and not covered under existing central packages. The flexibility of untied funds would enable the states to respond quickly. The funds would be in addition to those otherwise allocated by the DoNER ministry and NEC to the northeastern states under the existing schemes.
Assam would get Rs 5 crore, which is the highest amount.
The ministry has also sought projects for strengthening of the health infrastructure in the Northeast under its flagship programme — North East Special Infrastructure Development Scheme. The states have been asked to submit their proposals by April 6. The projects in the health sector would be sanctioned on top priority.
NEDFi is also contributing Rs 2 crore to the PM-Cares fund out of their corporate social responsibility funds.
On Friday, the NEC also released Rs 3 crore, being the normative share, to the Meghalaya government, which can be utilised as gap funding on activities related to fighting Covid-19.