Meghalaya Current Affairs

Entire Assam declared as ‘disturbed’ area under AFSPA for another month

The Union Home Ministry has declared entire Assam state as a disturbed area under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act for one more month, citing various violent activities by insurgent groups ULFA, NDFB, and others.

The Home Ministry also declared 20 km belt along Meghalaya’s border areas adjoining Assam and three districts in Arunachal Pradesh (Tirap, Changlang and Longding) as disturbed under the AFSPA for two more months.

Background

AFSPA has been continuing in Assam since November 1990. In 2016, there were 75 incidents of violence reported in Assam in which 33 people, including four security personnel, were killed and 14 others were abducted. The violence was perpetrated in Assam by insurgent groups like ULFA, NDFB and others. Similarly, continuing violence perpetrated by NSCN(K), NSCN(IM), ULFA, NDFB, and others were key reasons for continuing with AFSPA in Arunachal Pradesh. Meghalaya too has witnessed violence by ULFA, NDFB militants in the recent past.

About Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act

The AFSPA was enacted by the parliament in 1958. It grants extra-ordinary powers and immunity to the armed forces to bring back order in the disturbed areas. Some of these extra-ordinary powers include fire upon anyone after giving warning who is acting against law & order in the disturbed area, arrest anyone without warrant, stop and search any vehicle or vessel, legal immunity to armed forces personnel for their actions.

Note: Presently AFSPA is enforced in the 6 states of North East (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland) and Jammu and Kashmir. It was lifted in Tripura in May 2015.

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CCEA approves North East Road Network Connectivity Project Phase I

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved North East Road Network Connectivity Project (NERNCP) Phase I for development of 403 kms of National Highways in Meghalaya and Mizoram.

Out of total 403 km, approximately 351 km will be in developed in Mizoram and 52 km in Meghalaya. The project will be executed in EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) Mode.

Key Facts
  • The implementation of projects will start from the financial year 2017-18. The civil works are expected to be completed by 2021 and maintenance works by 2025.
  • The projects will encourage sub-regional socio-economic development by improving infrastructure in Mizoram and Meghalaya. It will also enhance connectivity with inter-state roads and International Borders.
  • The work for development of two lane standards under the scheme NERNCP Phase I will be financially supported by loan assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Background

The existing carriageway of all the stretches in Meghalaya and Mizoram are varying between Single lane to Intermediate lane. The condition of the pavement is also very poor and at some locations which is not in traffic worthy condition. In addition, these stretches also are in poor condition in the landslides areas/sinking zone. The development and updation of these stretches to the two lane will improve their standards and improve connectivity.

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