UT News Service | IMPHAL, AUG 17: Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs, Nitin Gadkari laid the foundation stones for 13 different highway projects and inaugurated a road safety project of Manipur through video conference on Monday, according to a statement from the Manipur Chief Minister’s office. The total length of these projects is around 316 kilometres, and the total project cost is around Rs. 3000 crores.
According to the statement, Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh presided over the virtual function from Manipur Bhawan, New Delhi, which was also attended by Minister of State (Independent Charge) for DoNER and PMO Dr. Jitendra Singh and MoS Road Transport and Highways Gen. (Retd.) VK Singh. They were also joined from Imphal by Works Minister Th. Biswajit, CAF & PD Minister Karam Shyam, Water Resources Minister Letpao Haokip, Agriculture Minister V. Hangkhanlian, Education Minister Th. Radheshyam, MP (Inner) RK Ranjan, MP (Outer) Lorho Pfoze, MP (Rajya Sabha) Leishemba Sanajaoba, Manipur Tribal Development Corporation Chairman Vungzagin Valte, Advisor to Chief Minister K. Leishiyo, Manipur Chief Secretary Dr. Rajesh Kumar and other officials.
Speaking on the occasion, Nitin Gadkari announced that the foundation stone for an elevated highway in Imphal as proposed by the State Government would also be laid soon for which DPR is being prepared. The Union Minister said that the Centre has taken up various projects keeping with Prime Minister’s desire to develop infrastructure in the North East.
Regarding Central Roads Fund (CRF), Gadkari also assured to release additional funds of about Rs. 250 crore as soon as the utilization certificates for earlier works are received from the State. He also urged the Chief Minister to speed up land acquisition and utility shifting works in the State so that road projects could be expedited.
The minister also informed that dredging has been completed in Brahmaputra and Barak rivers, and it is now possible to transport people and consignments through waterways. He also suggested linking of Imphal with this river route. He also called for adopting alternate fuel for public transport in the North East as it is cheaper and environment friendly.
Gadkari also highlighted the role of MSME sector in improving the employment and economic scenario in Manipur. Informing about the recent expansion of MSME units, he exhorted the Chief Minister to consider setting up of Special Designing Centres where quality of local handloom and handicraft products can be improved for export to foreign countries.
According to the statement, in his speech, Chief Minister N. Biren Singh thanked Nitin Gadkari for revamping Imphal-Jiribam and Imphal-Moreh roads. He informed the minister that conditions of these two important roads are good in most sections though landslides happen in some places during the rainy season.
He further said that Makru and Barak bridges, for which foundation stones were laid under the Union Minister’s guidance, would be completed by the end of this year. Stating that lots of developmental changes could be seen in the State ever since the erstwhile ‘Look East Policy’ was changed into ‘Act East Policy’ under the supervision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, N. Biren Singh said that works for upgradation of four-lane highway of Imphal-Moreh road are going on in full swing.
Construction of Imphal-Jiribam highway is also underway though the project was slightly delayed in the beginning due to land compensation issues. Apart from it, construction of Moreh bypass road and Pallel-Chandel road would also start soon, he added.
Imphal being a small city, is very congested now, as such there is need for an elevated highway, Biren said and added that people of Manipur are thankful to Gadkari for responding positively to the proposal of the 25-km-long Imphal elevated highway project. He also requested the Minister to upgrade the Imphal-Moirang road to a four-lane highway.