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Umsning land hurdle on NH 40

Four-laning to be completed by March: Union Minister

SHILLONG: The ongoing four-laning work of the crucial National Highway 40, better known as Guwahati- Shillong- road, will be completed by March this year.
This was announced by Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping  Pon Radhakrishnan here on Thursday.
Speaking to media persons after reviewing progress of the ongoing road projects in the state, Radhakrishnan said that the project (four-laning) has been delayed due to land acquisition hurdle.
“The four-laning of the 61.8 km highway from Jorabat to Umiam (Barapani) will be completed by March, 2015. However, the Umsning bypass on the highway will take another year’s time for completion due to delay in land acquisition,” he said.
“The State Government couldn’t acquire the land on time and just this year it was done. So it would take another year to complete construction of this portion of the Highway,” Radhakrishnan said.
Reacting to a query on frequent landslides along the highway, he said some temporary measures have been taken in this regard.
He also said that the problem of landslide would be addressed once the project is completed.
The 62-km four-laning of NH 40 (Umiam to Jorabat) has been taken up by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) as the implementing agency with an estimated budget of Rs 536 crore.
While visiting Shillong, the minister inspected the Road at Nongpoh and Umiam and took stock of the construction work.
Meanwhile, talking about the  2 laning of  Jowai-Ratacherra project, he informed that the contract has been terminated  and re-bidding is in process  in Engineering , procurement and Construction (EBC) mode.
He also asked the State Government to expedite the   land acquisition process for the project.
According to the Union Minister,  five projects under EPC mode have been undertaken in Meghalaya  during the year 2014-15 covering a total length of   337 kilometers at an estimated cost of Rs 2243.59 crores .
This projects are – Nongstoin to Domiasat,   Barapani to Shillong of NH 40, Ranikor-Baghmara,  Mawthabah-Ranikor, Nongstoin-Chaigaon and out of these projects, up-gradation to 2 lane  of State road  stretching from Nongstoin – Domiasat Via Wakhaji with the total length of  61.57 kms  at an estimated cost of Rs 355.10 crores has already been awarded while the other four remaining projects  are pending for awards of contract due to  non-transfer of 90% of land.
Talking about the  two laning of  Shillong-Nongstoin section of NH 44 (E) AND Nongstoin-Rongjeng-Tura road  under SARDP-NE, the minister informed that  the  project would cover  264 km at an estimated budget of Rs  2158 crore. “In this  project, the  total cost for land acquisition and utility shifting is Rs 180.01 crores  against which  164.94 crores has already been placed at the disposal of the Government based on the bills submitted,” he said.

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