New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today sanctioned Rs 200 crore for immediate repair of national highways ravaged by flood in Assam and promised more funds after a central team takes stock of the situation.
The Road Transport and Highways Minister also sanctioned Rs 400 crore for dredging work in Brahmaputra and said Brahmaputra Express Highway will be constructed in Assam as a highway-cum-embankment to check flood. The sanctions came after a delegation from Assam, led by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, called on Gadkari.
“We reviewed the situation in Assam due to flood and heavy rain. We have immediately sanctioned Rs 200 crore for repairing damaged national highways and will be releasing more funds if required after the final report on central team’s observations,” Gadkari told PTI after the meeting.
Moreover, he said, Rs 400 crore has been sanctioned for dredging in Brahmaputra which will also check flood.
“Flood situation gets worse in Brahmaputra as siltage is not removed. Large scale work needs to be done and we have sanctioned Rs 400 crore for dredging in 600-km length. The work will commence in September,” Gadkari said.
The minister said it is for the first time that the Centre will be building seven bridges in Assam where only three have been built after independence. To improve connectivity, work on two bridges are underway while detailed project report (DPR) will be made for others soon, he said.
He also said a multi-purpose express highway was proposed in Assam and the state government will prepare its detailed project report.
“DPR is being made by Assam government and we will be using dredging material in the multipurpose express highway which will serve as road as well as embankment of Brahmaputra, designed to check flood,” he said.
The 5,000-km express highway proposal has been already submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 18. Asked about the estimated investment in the project, the minister said it will be assessed after the DPR is submitted. Gadkari has discussed the project with the Assam CM during his visit to the state in April.