Shillong: In a boost to infrastructure development in the North-East, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday said the government will award road projects worth Rs 15,000 crore in the region by December.
“Of the total Rs 15,000 crore road projects envisaged for the North-East, Rs 6,000 crore worth highways will be developed in Arunachal Pradesh, Rs 2,000 crore projects each in Nagaland and Meghalaya and the remaining ones in other parts of the region,” Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said in Shillong.
The Minister, who was here to dedicate 4-laning of Shillong bypass and Jorabat-Barapani to the nation, said the central government will encourage the local contractors in the region to take up civil works for road projects with the aim of providing employment to the local population.
The Centre has also asked the north-eastern states – Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh – to acquire land and obtain the necessary regulatory clearances after which the Ministry of Road Transport and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will build those roads.
“These measures will ease the bottlenecks in establishing the road projects,” he said.
He added that the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) will provide 10 per cent machinery and 10 per cent resource mobilisation to the local contractors in advance to commence work on the highways.
Gadkari said that 18 new jetties will come up on the Brahmaputra river.
The 48.76 kms long road, connecting Umiam in Ri-Bhoi district and Mawryngkneng in East Khasi Hills District, was developed to decongest Shillong from trucks and heavy vehicles coming from or moving towards north-eastern part of Assam and other states like Mizoram and Tripura.
The project, developed at an estimated cost of Rs 226 crore, was completed in two years after work began in 2011.
The four-laning of Jorabat-Barapnai has been done to improve road connectivity between Guwahati and Shillong. The project length is 61.80 kms which includes the Umsning Bypass (5.82 kms).
The work has been substantially completed except in the Umsning Bypass stretch where pre-construction activities such as survey and site layout work is in progress.
Post the development of the road, travel time from Guwahati to Barapani will reduce to one-and-a-half hour as compared to the earlier duration of three hours.
The construction of the section has improved transport infrastructure in the North-East, particularly in Barak Valley region in Assam and in the states of Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur and Meghalaya.
At present, 12,000 vehicles ply on this road per day.