Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari said today, that the Centre will spend Rs 1.5 lakh crore on improving National Highways in the North Eastern states. This would include about Rs 17,000 Crore in Sikkim, Rs 48,221 Crore in Assam, Rs 20, 000 Crore in Nagaland, Rs 12,000 Crore Mizoram, Rs 22,000 Crore in Manipur, Rs 8,000 Crore in Tripura, Rs 10,000 Crore in Arunachal Pradesh and Rs 8,000 Crore in Meghalaya.
He was speaking in Shillong after dedicating to the nation the newly upgraded Jowai-Ratacherra section of NH-6 in Meghalaya. The 102 km stretch of national highways has been two-laned with 10m wide carriageway of paved shoulder at a cost of Rs 683 crore. It has three major bridges across Rivers Alpha, Lubha and Umproshung, along with 34 minor ones, 441 culverts and a 123 metre long tunnel at Sonapur village.
The national highway will provide better connectivity to Mizoram, Tripura and south western parts of Assam. Trucks and heavy vehicles coming from Guwahati will now be able to move smoothly in record time to Silchar. Travel time from Jowai to Ratacherra will be reduced from 4 hrs to 2.5 hrs.
The road passes through coal/cement producing belt of the region, which is a lifeline to the landlocked states of NE. The new highway will also ensure fast movement of goods across the Barak valley, upliftment of bamboo industry, better employment opportunities, widespread economic development, and improved connectivity, all working to enhance the economy of Barak valley.
Gadkari is also doing an extensive review of each ongoing NH project in all the North Eastern states in the presence of stakeholders including state Chief Ministers, PWD Ministers, state and central government officials and contractors.