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New Delhi, August 18, 2020
Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stones for 13 highway projects and inaugurated a road safety project in the North-Eastern state of Manipur through video conference here on Monday.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh presided over the virtual function, attended by Minister for Development of NorthEastern Region Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways V K Singh, Ministers of Manipur state, several MPs, MLAs and senior officers from the Centre and the State.
The projects involve a road length of 316 kilometres, with a construction value of about Rs 3,000 crore and will pave the way for the development of Manipur by providing better connectivity, convenience and economic growth, an official press release said.
Gadkari said, keeping with the Prime Minister's desire to develop infrastructure in the North East, several projects were undertaken in the region. Several new road projects will be undertaken in Manipur soon.
The Minister announced that the detailed project report (DPR) for an elevated road in Imphal is being prepared and work on this project will begin in a few months.
Gadkari asked the Chief Minister 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) also, he assured release of additional funds of about Rs 250 crore as soon as the utilization certificate was received from the State.
Dredging has been completed in Brahmputra 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, pointing out that it is cheaper as well as environment friendly.
Gadkari highlighted the role of MSME sector in improving the employment and economic scenario in Manipur. Informing the gathering about the recent expansion in the definition of MSME units, he exhorted the CM to utilise the opportunity and explore the export potential of handicrafts, handloom, and honey, bamboo products etc which can employ a large number of people.
Chief Minister Biren Singh said Manipur, being a hill-locked State with heavy rainfall, requires top-quality road network to withstand the vagaries of nature. He welcomed the decision of the Ministry in favour of a 25-km elevated road in Imphal.
He pointed out the need for four-laning of the Imphal-Loktak highway, which has heavy traffic, due to Loktak being a famous tourist attraction.