New Delhi: Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Nitin Gadkari, inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for 27 highway projects in Assam on Friday, 25th December. Assam Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal presided over the function, according to a press statement from the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways. These projects carry a road length of nearly 439 kilometers, involving a construction value of Rs. 2,366 crore. These projects will ease the transportation of commercial goods within and across the state, improve connectivity at the borders, enhance employment opportunities, save time and fuel, improve tourism and infra development, and will result in providing connectivity for agricultural produce up to larger markets, the Ministry stated.
Gadakari also unveiled a life-size bronze statue of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. 25th December is the birthday of the late leader.
Speaking on the occasion, Road Transport & Highways Minister Gadkari assured the State government of his full support in developing the NH network in Assam. He said Assam has a special place in his heart. The Minister revealed that Rs. 2,104 crore was approved for 174 projects under CRIF for the state, out of which Rs. 1,177 crore have been released so far. The Union Minister announced a sum of Rs. 221 crore under CRIF for the current year, against the annual accrual of Rs. 139 crore only.
Highways Minister Gadkari announced enhancement in the NHO amount for Assam from Rs. 1,213 crore to Rs. 2,578 crore for the current financial year, adding that road and infrastructure works worth Rs. 85,000 crore will be taken up in the state. Works for a sum of Rs. 14,000 crore will be awarded in 2021, while DPR is being made for another Rs. 26,000 crore worth of projects, said Gadkari, observing that 217 km long roads were completed in the state during 2020 at a cost of Rs. 1,102 crore. He said 357 km road works worth Rs. 2,511 crore will be complete in the coming year, and that 19 projects of 295 km length worth Rs. 13,620 crore were awarded this year. DPRs are under preparation for 20 projects of 845 kms worth Rs. 25,700 crore, he stated.
Gadkari also announced the construction of a multi-modal logistic park (MMLP) in Silchar. This will be the second MMLP in Assam after the one being made in Jogighopa. The State Government will provide 200 bigha land in Harinachra village along the Barak River. This is expected to benefit the people by way of development of road and waterways connectivity.
The Minister also announced that construction of Dhuvri-Phoolbari bridge will begin in the coming month. He said a sum of Rs. 4,497 crore will be spent on this 19 km bridge. This will reduce the distance between these two places in Assam and Meghalaya by 203 km. He stated that he is requesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lay its foundation stone in the next 15 days, as per the Ministry of Road Transport.
He also revealed that the DPR is ready and the tender has been floated for the 6.75 km Majuli bridge, which is part of the 131 km long Majuli project worth Rs. 900 crore.
Assam CM Sarbanand Sonowal assured that he will take forward all the suggestions given by the Union Minister. He said his government is committed to the development of the state and uplifting of the lifestyle of its people. He said he is working in co-operation with the Centre to achieve his government’s targets.
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