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Tripura to get Rs 2,587 crore central funds for jobs, housing, education

The money is part of the promise the BJP made before the February assembly polls in the cash-strapped northeastern state that, according to the party, is reeling from a fiscal deficit of Rs 11,355 crore after 25 years of Left Front rule.

india Updated: Mar 21, 2018 21:29 IST
Priyanka Deb Barman
Priyanka Deb Barman
Hindustan Times, Agartala
Tripura,Biplab Kumar Deb,Central funds
Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb interacting with the media in New Delhi on Tuesday.(Sushil Kumar/HT Photo)

The first BJP government in Tripura will get Rs 2,587 crore in central funds for development projects and schemes such as housing, education and rural jobs, chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb said on Wednesday.

The money is part of the promise the BJP made before the February assembly polls in the cash-strapped northeastern state that, according to the party, is reeling from a fiscal deficit of Rs 11,355 crore after 25 years of Left Front rule.

“The central government is eager to help Tripura in every respect. But they stopped funding the state as it did not receive fund-utilisation certificates from the previous government, and also because of corruption,” Deb said.

A request for all stalled funds were made after the BJP government came to power, he said, and the Centre assured Rs 2,587 crore to be released in phases from next week.

Another promise the BJP made before it swept the elections was to ensure jobs. The chief minister said at least 12,200 jobs would be created in the state in three years.

According to him, the funds will be spent under different heads such as Rs 241 crore for reviving the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in the state, Rs 350 crore for the NITI Aayog-suggested special plan assistance, Rs 292 crore for housing and urban development, Rs 1,320 crore for externally-aided projects, and Rs 348 crore to set up 24 Eklavya residential schools in areas inhabited by indigenous tribes.

The chief minister said a barbed wire fence along a 75km Indo-Bangladesh border in the state would be completed, fitted with surveillance cameras in strategic locations to prevent smuggling of goods and infiltration of terrorists.

“Our government will show zero tolerance to illegal activities from across the border. Even our neighbouring country Bangladesh will not tolerate such activities.”

Union home minister Rajnath Singh is expected to tour the state’s border areas next month. Singh had assured raising two Indian Reserve Battalions to provide jobs to 2,200 people in Tripura.

Around 5,000 more could be employed every year through a Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET) project that is expected to be launched in April. A plastic park would also be set up on its campus. Besides, the gas-rich state is likely to get a fertilizer plant.

Union road minister Nitin Gadkari has promised Rs 12,000 crore for six national highways in the state, the chief minister said. Good roads are another poll promise the BJP had made.

The state’s roads, or the lack of them, had often made news — especially when Tripura’s biggest mascot in many years, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, sought to return a BMW X1 gifted to her by Sachin Tendulkar for her incredible performance in the 2016 Rio Olympics because of bad roads in Agartala.

The national highway 44, Tripura’s lifeline that connects the state with the rest of the country, regularly resembles a slushy drain during the monsoon, stranding hundreds of trucks carrying fuel and essentials to the state.

Deb and his deputy, Jishnu Dev Varma, visited New Delhi last Sunday and held a series of meetings with around 13 Union ministers. They returned home on Wednesday.

First Published: Mar 21, 2018 21:29 IST