Centre to invest Rs 1 lkh cr for improving Assam's road

Road and inland water communication in Assam is up for a major boost as the Centre has planned to invest money to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore in coming years to improve communication infrastructure in the state.

Union road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari announced this while discussing several issues related to improvement of transport communication in the state with chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal in New Delhi yesterday.

The Union minister said the Centre will increase the central roads fund to Rs 800 crore from earlier sanctioned limit of Rs 450 crore. He also asked the state government to identify 1,200 km of new stretch of road for converting the same into National Highways (NH).

Gadkari also approved Sivsagar-Desangmukh-Tekeliphuta-Dhakuakhana-North Lakhimpur-Majuli-Jorhat road project and another project for relieving traffic congestion on Guwahati by-pass.

The Centre has mooted to construct a new 4-lane road from Changsari to Kuruwa along the northern bank of river Brahmaputra with a 6-lane bridge over the river between Kuruwa and Narengi which can be connected thereafter to the East West Corridor near Khanapara point in Kamrup district.

He has also directed the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) to explore the scope for an alternative alignment and prepare project report for 4-laning of East West corridor covering 62 km long vulnerable stretch in Dima Hasao district.

Gadkari has also approved projects for development of NH-36, strengthening stretches from Agomoni to Golokganj, Gauripur to Panbari and Bangalipara on Bilasipara by-pass to Tillapara covering 63 km on NH-31, Solmari-Goalpara road, work of Ratachera-Churaibari section of NH-44 and work for flood prone Samarajan area of NH-52.

The Centre has also sanctioned Rs 30 crore for installation of solar LED lights in the 9-km long Dhola-Sadia bridge which is to be inaugurated soon. He has also approved the proposal for construction of flyovers at Basistha Chariali on NH-37 in Guwahati, Pathsala on NH-31, Simaluguri on NH-31, BCPL junction in Dibrugarh, Dhaligaon on NH-31 and Amolapatthy in Dibrugarh amounting to Rs 200 crore each.

Further to ensure timely completion of all ongoing and proposed construction projects, the Union minister requested the state Government to constitute a Task Force under the chairmanship of chief secretary of Assam to review the works regularly.

Urging the state government to expedite land acquisition for all NH projects, he has also agreed to minimise the tendering period from mandatory 45 days to 30 days so that all projects could be implemented without any delay. 

Considering the chief minister’s request for a comprehensive development of waterways and inland transport system in the state, the Gadkari announced that his ministry would carry out dredging of river Brahmaputra from Sadia to Dhubri and construct 56 ports and improve terminals with modern amenities.

Further to effectively use the silt extracted during dredging for road construction and erecting embankments, the Union minister agreed to the state government’s proposal to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the ministry of road transport and highways and government of Assam for utilising the same.

Gadkari also requested the state government to submit a proposal for Brahmaputra Express Highway for construction of road along its river bank with state of the art technology.

The Union Minister also agreed to include Assam in the first list of states to be taken up for restructuring of State Transport Undertakings (STUs) with World Bank fund for revamping the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) to improve its functioning and make it more in tune with changing times.

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