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Jowai-Ratacherra project to start shortly
Gadkari dedicates Shillong Bypass and Umiam-Jorabat four-lane to nation
SHILLONG: Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Nitin Gadkari has announced that the work on the 103-km Jowai-Ratacherra road project will commence within the next three months.
Addressing the gathering after dedicating two major road projects — the Shillong Bypass and Umiam-Jorabat four-lane — to the nation on Friday at Umroi, Gadkari said that the project will be taken up at the cost of Rs 630 crore.
The Union Minister said that the ministry has also constituted National Highway Road Infrastructure Development Commission to ensure that the roads are developed in the North East with utmost priority.
Stating that the Union Government is giving top most priority to development of the Northeastern region, he rued that delayed land acquisition and environment clearances have stalled more than 270 projects across the country.
Gadkari said a new policy was announced by him on Thursday in Arunachal Pradesh in which state governments would be responsible for land acquisition and getting environment and forest clearances, while the Centre will bear the construction costs of important roads which are not national highways.
“There are lots of roads which are not national highways but important state highways linking district headquarters. We will construct those. It is up to the states to think about it, including Meghalaya and this is not under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY),” Gadkari said. In addition, the ministry now also plans to develop waterways in the country and Gadkari pointed out that he will present a Bill in Parliament shortly in this regard. “101 rivers including some from Meghalaya will be turned into waterways,” he added.
He also highlighted the problem faced by authorities in getting contractors for the projects. Calling upon the local contractors to come forward, he said the youth of the region should take advantage of the policies of the Government. A two-day work shop will be organized by NHIDCL for the youth of the North East to take up these contracts.
Earlier, Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju said that the progress of roads in the country in the last 10 months has been tremendous and added that the region is lagging behind because of poor connectivity.
Meghalaya Deputy Chief Minister Rowell Lyngdoh also spoke on the occasion.