The NITI Forum for North-East was set up in February 2018 to address various challenges in the region and recommend requisite interventions to achieve sustainable economic growth. The forum is led by Shri Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Development of North-Eastern Region, and Dr Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairperson, NITI Aayog. The first meeting was held on 10 April 2018 in Agartala, Tripura.
The second meeting was held in Guwahati, Assam, in December 2018. The focus areas identified were bamboo, dairy, pisciculture, tea, and tourism. These were discussed in five parallel sessions involving experts from Central and State Governments, academia and industry. To push the five sectors identified by the forum, action points were discussed by experts, and Line Ministries were asked to act on specific points. All the Ministries concerned were directed to prepare a roadmap for the implementation of the recommendations that emerged in the second meeting. These are being monitored.
Further, to push forward the implementation of the recommendations of the forum, a joint working group was constituted by NITI Aayog in September 2020 under the chairmanship of Special Secretary, Ministry of Development of North-Eastern Region. During the first meeting of the group, held on 18 September 2020, the Line Ministries were requested to put in more efforts to develop and promote the five focus areas as recommended.
Evaluating Proposals for Feasibility Study of Cable Cars in Gangtok and Aizawl
The development of cable cars as public transport in Gangtok and Aizawl is to be done with support from the Centre and State Governments. Ernst and Young, LLP, has been engaged as a partner to conduct the study under Development Support Services to States. A meeting was held to review the progress of the projects on 26 August 2020 under the chairmanship of CEO, NITI Aayog.
The North-East division has worked on rejuvenating the Subansiri HEP project. The matter was followed on a regular basis with the authorities concerned. As a result of this, and subsequent clearance from National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Assam Government signed an MoU with NHPC. The Arunachal Pradesh Government also signed a power purchase agreement with NHPC. Moreover, the Assam Government constituted a task force at the State level and another at a lower level. Consequently, work has begun on priority. In a meeting held on 24 August 2019, under Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, the authorities concerned were instructed to complete the work related to this project within two and a half years.
Sivok-Rangpo and Agartala-Akhaura Rail Projects
These two rail projects are of national and strategic importance. The State Governments and other stakeholders have been instructed to expedite the implementation of these projects. Also, NITI Aayog has coordinated with all stakeholders in minimizing inter-state and inter-ministerial issues in both these projects.