Union Minister Nitin Gadkari approves Rs 68,000 crore worth of road projects in four Northeast state
Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday, while addressing a press conference in Guwahati announced that his ministry approved a slew of new road projects, valued at Rs 68,000 crore, in four Northeastern states to make international standard surface connectivity.
Gadkari after reviewing various national highway projects in the region, said that new projects are worth Rs 50,000 crore for Assam, Rs 9,000 crore for Meghalaya, Rs 5,000 crore for Nagaland and Rs 4,000 crore for Sikkim were approved.
"Our aim is to change the entire scenario of road transport in NE by 2024. We target to make roads of international standards in this region," he said.
Elevated 38-kilometres-long corridor in Kaziranga National Park
The major projects in Assam include an elevated 38-kilometres-long corridor in Kaziranga National Park for Rs 6,000 crore, a ring road in Guwahati for Rs 4,500 crore, five ropeways for Rs 2,100 crore and several highway flyovers as well as bridges over the Brahmaputra river, the minister said.
"In Assam, we will develop 700 km of road network. Out of them, 20 projects worth Rs 14,000 crore are at the bidding stage and Rs 25,000 crore worth of projects are at DPR (detailed project report) stage," he added.
Gadkari said that the government will complete Rs 2 lakh crore worth of road projects in Assam by 2024. The next Lok Sabha election is due in 2024.
"As part of the ring road project in Guwahati, we will build a big bridge on the Brahmaputra connecting Narengi and Kuruwa for Rs 1,800 crore. If everything goes well, I'll try to start this ring road project within the next 2-3 months," he added.
The projects will also involve several works to widen the existing roads of the East-West Corridor at several places in Assam and other neighbouring states, Gadkari said.
On the request of Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, he also in principle approved a project to connect Numaligarh on Brahmaputra's southern bank with Gohpur on the northern side in central Assam. He also named several new projects for Meghalaya, Sikkim and Nagaland that were approved during the day. Gadkari requested Sarma to push electric vehicles, especially buses, to tame rising pollution level, while urging him to promote production of ethanol from bamboo in the state.
"Because of ethanol mixed fuel, our import bill (of crude) was down by Rs 40,000 crore. Nowadays, farmers are not only food providers, but also energy providers," he added.
Earlier, the minister reviewed the progress of various national highway projects being implemented in the northeastern region and instructed officers concerned to complete them on time.
Gadkari, along with his junior minister VK Singh, took stock of the progress of national highways projects in four states -- Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Nagaland - on the first day of his three-day review programme here, an official said.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, senior officers of the ministry and various state governments, besides contractors attended the meeting.
Issues like land acquisition, use of new technologies, disputes and arbitrations and financial interventions of the ongoing, as well as future projects, were discussed at the meeting, Gadkari said.
He also gave instructions to complete the projects which were delayed for various reasons as soon as possible.
(With PTI input)
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