Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs 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 on Monday.
These projects involve a road length of 316 km, with a construction value of about Rs 30 billion. Paving the way for the development of Manipur, these roads will enhance better connectivity, convenience and economic growth in the Northeastern state.
Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said that in keeping with prime minister’s desire to develop infrastructure in the Northeast, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had undertaken several projects in the region. He assured several new road projects in Manipur soon. Gadkari announced that the detailed project report (DPR) for an elevated road in Imphal was being prepared and work on the project will begin within the next couple of months.
Gadkari asked Manipur Chief Minister, N Biren Singh 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 2.5 billion as soon as the utilisation certificate is received from the state.
The minister informed that dredging had been completed in Brahmaputra and Barak rivers, and it was now possible to transport people and consignments through waterways. He suggested linking of Imphal through this river route, which was barely 50-60 km, for getting added benefits for the state’s economy. He also called for adopting cheaper and environmentally friendly alternate fuels for public transport in the region.
Gadkari highlighted the role of the micro, small and medium enterprises (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 Singh to utilise the opportunity and explore the export potential of handicrafts, handloom, honey and bamboo products.