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Union minister of Road, Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari on Monday said land acquisition and environmental clearances were two major hurdles for the delay of construction of road infrastructure projects in the North Eastern states.
Inaugurating the 102 km Jowai-Ratacherra section of NH-06 in Meghalaya, the Union Minister asked Chief Ministers of the North Eastern states to held monthly review meetings on land acquisition and environmental clearance for early implementation of road projects.
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma, Tripura chief minister Biplap Deb, Arunachal deputy chief minister Chowna Mein and a host of Meghalaya cabinet ministers witnessed the inauguration amongst others. “Land acquisition and environmental clearance are the two major hurdles. Land acquisition is a state subject and therefore we need the cooperation of the respective states. If the state can make progress on land acquisition and environmental clearance fast, we assure you that we will immediately approved the roads projects and start the project as early as possible,” Gadkari said. Noting that prosperity comes from roads, the Union Minister said that industries and agriculture are the two very important sectors. “If you want to develop industry and agriculture – the four important things are water, transport, road and communication and without them we don’t have industry and without industry we don’t have employment potential.” Reaffirming that central government giving the “highest priority to development of the North East”, Gadkari said, “We want to implement all roads projects in the region in a transparent quality and corruption-free. The government has decided to construct more railway line and develop inland waterways to boost trade and commerce.”
The Union Minister said that Jowai-Ratacherra road will prove as a boon which is the linkage to the Assam border and boost in over all socio-economic development of the population of the Jaintia Hill districts which is rich in natural resources like coal and limestone and also provide respite to the road users from frequent traffic snarls.
He said trucks and heavy vehicles coming from Brahmaputra Valley of Assam can move smoothly in a record time frame to Silchar in Barak Valley, within Assam and thus providing connectivity to Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura and Southern Assam.
Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma said that the 102 Km Jowai-Ratacherra road of NH-06 will really go a long way in helping the people in that area besides people from Assam, Mizoram.
“With the area being a highly economic activity zone, the completion of the road will go a long way in boosting the economy of the area in particular and Meghalaya as a whole,” Sangma said.
The NH-06 project, constructed at a cost of Rs 683 crore, will reduce the travel time between Jowai and Ratacherra from 4 hours to 2.5 hours. The highway passes through the coal and cement producing belt and is a lifeline for the landlocked states of the northeast.