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New Delhi : Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari said at Shillong on September 24, 2018, that the Centre will spend Rs 1 lakh 50 thousand crore on improving National Highways in the  North Eastern states.

This would include about Rs 17,000 crore in  Sikkim, Rs 48,221 crore in  Assam, Rs 20,000 crore in Nagaland, Rs 12,000 crore Mizoram, Rs 22,000 crore in Manipur, Rs 8,000 crore in Tripura, Rs 10,000 crore in Arunachal Pradesh and Rs 8,000 crore in  Meghalaya.

Gadkari was speaking at Shillong after dedicating  to the nation the newly  upgraded Jowai-Ratacherra section of NH-6 in Meghalaya on September 24. The 102 km stretch of national highways has been two-laned with 10m wide carriageway of paved shoulder at a cost of  Rs 683 crore. It has three major bridges across Rivers Alpha, Lubha and Umproshung, along with 34 minor ones, 441 culverts and a 123 metre long tunnel at village Sonapur.

The national highway will provide  better connectivity to Mizoram, Tripura and south western parts of Assam.  Trucks and heavy vehicles coming from Guwahati will now be able to move smoothly in  record time  to Silchar. Travel time from Jowai to Ratacherra will be reduced from 4 hrs to 2.5 hrs. The road passes  through coal/cement producing belt of the region, which is a lifeline to the  landlocked states of NE, according to a PIB release.

The total length of NH in the State of Meghalaya is 1,205 km of which State PWD and NHAI have  990 km and 215 km under their charge respectively. About 325 km of state roads have been declared  as NHs in-principle, subject to outcome of Detailed Project Report (DPR). The state  PWD is  currently implementing  16 projects of total length of 12 km at a cost Rs 188.50 crore. The National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) is implementing one project of 52 km at a cost Rs 520 Crore. NHIDCL is also preparing DPR for 9 stretches of NH,  having total length of 644 km and an estimated civil cost of construction of Rs 9,663 Crore.

Gadkari is also doing an extensive review of each ongoing NH project in all the North Eastern states in the presence of stakeholders including state Chief Ministers, PWD Ministers, state and central government officials and contractors.

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