SHILLONG: The government has earmarked a sum of Rs. 200 crore for the drafting of a comprehensive master plan for the administrative city located at New Shillong Township.
This proposal came under the Supplementary Demands for Grants and Supplementary Appropriation for the fiscal year 2023-2024, as presented by Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on the inaugural day of the current Assembly’s autumn session.
According to explanatory notes accompanying the proposal, this substantial allocation under the State Urban Infrastructure Development Initiative is set aside for “the preparation of a master plan for the Administrative City at New Shillong Township and construction of the New Administration Secretariat/Blocks at New Shillong Township, Umsawli”.
The supplementary demand was necessitated due to an insufficient budget provision for this purpose in the ongoing fiscal year.
Last year on January 17, the cabinet had greenlit the relocation of the state government’s administrative edifice to the New Shillong Township. An impressive 807.7 acres of land has already been acquired by the government for the initiative, which is anticipated to substantially alleviate the prevalent traffic congestion woes in Shillong.
In related infrastructural advancements, the government has also proposed an additional sum of Rs. 8.52 crore under the State Urban Infrastructure Development Initiative. This allocation is intended for the installation of electric crematoriums at several locations, including New Shillong Township, Tura, Jowai, and Nongpoh.
The government’s expenditure blueprint further reveals the intention to regularise the advance from the contingency fund (ACF). This includes Rs. 14.76 crore assigned for the implementation of In-Situ Nallah treatment technology and the Restoration of Nallah with Ecological Unit (RENU) targeting the drains of the Myntdu River in West Jaintia Hills, Jowai.
Additionally, Rs. 4.65 crore, sourced from Grants-in-aid General (non-salary), is allocated for environment restoration projects. This involves efforts to curb the discharge of untreated effluents and facilitate solid waste treatment. Due to budgetary constraints this fiscal year, the said amount was approved via ACF, the explanatory notes elaborated.
Lastly, a notable Rs. 19.50 crore, categorised under the Smart Cities scheme, has been allocated as the third installment of the project fund earmarked for the transformation of Shillong into a “Smart City” under the national Smart Cities Mission.