Imphal: Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stones for 13 highway projects on Monday. He also inaugurated a Road safety project in the North-Eastern State of Manipur through video conference. Chief Minister of Manipur N Biren Singh presided over the virtual function.
These projects involve a Road length of 316 kilometers, with a construction value of about Rs 3000 crore. Paving the way for the development of Manipur, these roads are set to enhance better connectivity, convenience, and economic growth in this NE State.
Speaking on the occasion, Nitin Gadkari said, keeping with Prime Minister’s desire to develop infrastructure in the NE, we have undertaken several projects in the region. He assured many new Road projects in Manipur in the near future. The Minister announced that the DPR for an elevated road in Imphal is being prepared and within 2-3 months work on this project will begin.
Gadkari asked the CM to expedite land acquisition and utility shifting work in the State urgently, so that road projects could be hastened up. On the issue of Central Road Fund (CRF), he assured the release of additional funds of about Rs 250 crore as soon as the utilization certificate is received from the State.
The Minister informed that dredging has been completed in the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers, and it is now possible to Transport people and consignments through waterways. He suggested linking of Imphal with this river route, which is barely 50-60 km, for getting added benefits for the State economy. He also called for adopting alternate fuel for public transport in the NE region, it being cheaper as well as environment friendly.
Gadkari highlighted the role of the MSME sector in improving the employment and economic scenario in Manipur. Informing about the recent expansion in the definition of MSME units, he exhorted the CM to utilize the opportunity and explore the export potential of handicrafts, handloom, and honey, bamboo products, etc which can provide employment to a large number of people.
Chief Minister Biren Singh said Manipur being a hill-locked State with heavy rains requires top-quality Road network to withstand the vagaries of nature. He welcomed the decision of MoRTH in favor of a 25 km elevated Road in Imphal. He, however, pointed out the need for four-laning of Imphal-Loktak highway, which has heavy traffic, due to it being a famous tourist attraction.
Image Source: Internet