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New Delhi : Union Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs Minister Nitin Gadkari on August 17, 2020, laid the foundation for 13 highway projects and inaugurated a Road safety project in the North-Eastern State of Manipur through video conference.

CM N Biren Singh presided over the virtual function attended by MoS (I/c) for DONER and PMO Dr Jitendra Singh, MoS RTH Gen (Retd) V K Singh, Ministers of the Manipur State, several MPs, MLAs, and senior officers from the Centre and the State.

These projects involve a Road length of 316 km with construction value of about Rs 3,000 crore.  These roads will enhance better connectivity, convenience, and economic growth in this NE State, paving the way for development of Manipur.

Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said in keeping with the Prime Minister’s desire to develop infrastructure in the NE, we have undertaken several projects in the region. He assured many new Road projects in Manipur in near future and added that the DPR for an elevated road in Imphal is being prepared and within 2-3 months work on this project will begin, according to a PIB release.

Gadkari asked Manipur CM 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) also, he assured release of additional funds of about Rs 250 crore as soon as the utilisation certificate is received from the State.

The Minister informed that dredging has been completed in Brahmputra and Barak rivers and it is now possible to Transport people and consignments through waterways. He suggested linking of Imphal with this river route, which is barely 50-60 km, for getting added benefits for the State economy.

Gadkari highlighted the role of 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 CM to utilise the opportunity and explore export potential of handicrafts, handloom, and honey, bamboo products etc which can provide employment to large number of people.

Chief Minister Biren Singh said that Manipur being a hill-locked State with heavy rains requires top quality Road network to withstand the vagaries of nature. He welcomed the decision of MoRTH in favour of a 25 km elevated Road in Imphal. He, however, pointed out the need for four-laning of Imphal-Loktak highway, which has heavy traffic being a famous tourist attraction.