New Delhi, Dec 5: In a boost to road connectivity and tourism in the northeastern region, a major national highway project in Nagaland was inaugurated by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday.
Gadkari has also laid the foundation stone for 14 other national highways entailing a length of about 266 km involving a cost of about Rs 4,127 crore.
The new NH projects are expected to attract improved tourist traffic to the state.
Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari stated that the Union Government is committed to the development of North East and Nagaland and informed that 667 km were added to the NH network in Nagaland during the last 6 years, which depicts a growth of nearly 76 per cent.
The NH network in the State today has been extended to 1,547 km up from 880.68 km till 2014.
In Nagaland, 55 highway projects worth Rs 11,711 cr were approved for the state in the last six years.
The minister said almost all districts in Nagaland now have been connected except a few, to a robust network of National Highways.
While it is important for socio-economic progress of Nagaland, the better roads will help improve growth of industry and trade and marketing of local products from various resources like bamboo.
Gadkari further informed that for development and improvement of National Highways, 55 projects of total length of 1,063.41 km and total cost of Rs 11,711 crore have been approved in the last six years.
These include improvement of Dimapur City, largest city of Nagaland, project at a total cost of about Rs 1,598 crore.
Sixteen projects of length 690 Km amounting to Rs 7,955 crore are in progress, he added.
Another seven works of 105 km amounting to Rs 966.75 crore are in tendering stage, the minister said adding that 11 works of 178 km length costing Rs 2,127 crore are to be approved during 2020-21 with enhanced sanction ceiling.
Five works of 524 km costing over Rs 6,000 crore are in DPR (detailed project report) stage.
The Union Minister added that under CRF (central road fund), total sanction till now from 2002 is Rs 1,334.3 crore, of which Rs 487.14 crore has been released.
He announced that a sum of Rs 45 crore is being released for Nagaland soon.
Gadkari requested the chief minister to urgently send the estimates for Land and Damage Compensation in respect of Kohima Bypass, the statement said.
He also informed that NHIDCL (National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corp Ltd) has taken up two-laning of Kohima-Mao road in Nagaland, and the civil work has already been awarded on September 30, 2020.
Chief Minister Nephiu Rio requested the Union Minister to consider development of foothill roads in the State. Gadkari informed that the same is under consideration. The CM also raised the issue of Dimapur-Kohima Road, called as the lifeline of Nagaland.
“Gadkari responded that work is in progress, and 70-80 per cent work on this road has been completed. NHIDCL has undertaken rigorous efforts to bring the projects on track and expedite the progress of work. Regular meetings at the highest level have been taken to expedite the progress of work on ground,” according to a statement.
Gadkari urged the CM to further review the NH works to resolve the issue.
Speaking about 26.25 km Kohima-Mao road for which the foundation stone was laid on Friday, Gadkari informed that this stretch is also an important part of Asian Highway (AH-1) connecting to Myanmar as it will greatly improve connectivity of Kohima city to Manipur border.
Chief Minister of Nagaland Neiphiu Rio and Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways VK Singh were present on the occasion besides MPs, MLAs and senior officers.