New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday inaugurated a major national highway project in Nagaland and laid the foundation stone for 14 others entailing a total cost of about Rs 4,127 crore, the government said.
The Road, Transport, Highways and MSMEs Minister said 55 highway projects worth Rs 11,711 cr were approved for the state in the last six years.
"Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Nitin Gadkari virtually inaugurated and laid foundation stones for 15 National Highways projects in Nagaland today...These NH Projects has (have) a length of about 266 km involving cost of about Rs 4,127 crore," Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.
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.
Gadkari said the Centre is committed to the development of NorthEast and Nagaland and informed that 667 km were added to the NH network in Nagaland during the last six 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.
The minister said almost all districts in Nagaland now have been connected except a few, to a robust network of National Highways.
"He said, the NH network density now is 93.30 km/ 1,000 sq km against National average of 39.90 km/1,000 sq km. The population wise density of NH network in the State is 77.73km/lakh population against national average of 10.80 km /lakh population," as per the statement.
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 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," the statement said.
Gadkari also 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.
It is also important for socio-economic progress of Nagaland, he said and added that better roads will help improve growth of industry and trade & marketing of local products from various resources like bamboo etc.
VK Singh hoped that the new NH projects will attract improved tourist traffic to the state.