MORAN: Development of road and rail connectivity as well as robust power and communication network will bring development, attract industries and give employment to youth in Assam, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today.
Acknowledging connectivity is the biggest problem of the north east region, Gadkari said, "After our government came to power last year, we decided to work for the development of the region and set the National Highway Road Development Corporation". Stating that prosperity follows development of roads, the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways said besides surface connectivity, electricity and good mobile connection will attract industries to the N-E region, especially Assam.
Laying the foundation stone of four packages on NH-37 at Moran in Dibrugarh district of the state, Gadkari said the highest number of construction jobs would be given to local contractors and they would also be provided with machinery, mobilisation and transportation advance. In the coming year, one-and-a-half lakh local workers would be employed in road construction work, he added.
The minister claimed that the four-lane work of the NH-37 would cost Rs 1,200 crore, adding that it would be concrete roads so that maintenance work gets minimal. The projects for making them four-lane are 18.40 km road from end of Nagaon bypass to Rangagara costing Rs 225.02 crore, 18.315 km from Rangagara to Kaliabor Tinali worth Rs 289.99 crore, 26.90 km from Demow to end of Moran bypass at Rs 385.55 crore and 19 km road from end of Moran bypass to Bogibeel junction near Lepetkatta costing Rs 330.30 crore.
The Union minister said three other road projects, between Sreerampur and Dhubri along the Bhutan border and from Tinsukia to Arunachal Pradesh, have been started in Assam at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore. In the next three months, five more projects will start on Karimganj bypass, in Silchar city, Silchar-Jiribam, Silchar-Badarpur roads, besides an automated weighing bridge on National Highway 31, Gadkari said.
To improve transportation infrastructure on the northern bank of the river benefiting the people of northern districts of Assam, he said the Dhakuakhana-Lakhimpur road was extended from Lakhimpur via NH-15 to NH37 in Jorhat via Majuli. For improving river transport on the Brahmaputra, he said inland transport work would start soon. The minister also wants to develop tourism in the Northeast as 49 per cent of investments in the sector goes into employment generation.
Laying another foundation stone of a bridge at Dhakuakhana in Lakhimpur district over Brahmaputra, Gadkari said Rs 25,000 crore has been provided by the Centre for development of roads in Assam during the next five years. Similarly, Rs one lakh crore was allotted for road development in the N-E region, he said.
Construction of proposed four new bridges over river Brahmaputra in Assam by the Centre will improve road communication in the state, he added. The minister laid the foundation stones of three other bridges, one of them at Majuli in Jorhat district connecting the world's largest river island with Jorhat town.