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Gadkari lays foundation stones of Rs 2,752-cr highway projects in Tripura

NEW DELHI: Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday laid foundation stones of nine highway projects in Tripura to be built at a cost of over Rs 2,752 crore.

Upgradation and development of national highways (NHs) will improve connectivity to all the districts and major cities, the road transport minister said.

Gadkari "virtually laid the foundation stones of nine national highway projects with a total length of nearly 262 km worth over Rs 2,752 crore in Tripura today," the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said in a statement.

Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said nearly 300 km of NHs length has been added in Tripura in the last six years, taking the length to over 850 km at present.

Roads worth Rs 8,000 crore are being constructed in Tripura, and as much as Rs 365 crore has been disbursed towards land acquisition cost in the state between 2015 and 2020, he said.

Gadkari said two important projects -- Feni Bridge and the Udaipur-Agartala road will be completed soon in the state.

The 49 km Udaipur-Agartala road worth Rs 750 crore will be completed next month while the 1.8 km long Feni Bridge between Sabrum on Indian side and Ramgarh on the Bangladesh side costing Rs 129 crore will be completed by December this year.

The bridge is important from social, economic and defence point of view, he said. The distance between Sabrum and Chittagong is 75 km, and the bridge will ease the transportation of goods from Chittagong and Kolkata ports.

An integrated check post is also proposed near Sabrum.

The minister said construction of bridge over river Feni will improve connectivity to the international Border with Bangladesh.

The four-lane bypass on western side of Agartala City is under DPR (detailed project report) preparation that will further improve the connectivity of NH-8 to NH-108B in Tripura, reduce traffic congestion in Agartala city, and connect Matabari from Airport, the statement said.

The connectivity of Agartala city to Assam Border through NH-108B, 208 & 208A will provide shorter length connectivity, the statement said and added the upgradation work for Agartala to Khowai (NH 108B) and Kailashahar to Assam Border (NH-208A) has already been awarded and upgradation of balance section of Kailashahar to Khowai (NH-208) has been proposed under JICA funding.

Bids for this section have already been received and work is likely to be awarded very soon.

He added that the 4-laning of NH-08 from Agartala to Churaibari - the lifeline of Tripura - is under DPR preparation, which will provide faster and hassle-free Inter-state connectivity with Assam and other States with Agartala.

The minister informed that DPRs for four projects of 367 km worth Rs 7,523 crore are under preparation for the state.

Union Minister of State (I/c) for Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh said that in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision for New India, a new North East will play an important role, as all the eight states of the region are witnessing a series of developmental projects in all fields.

He said that since 2014 massive steps were taken by Gadkari to bring the North Eastern Region at par with the other regions of the country and added that Centre is committed to develop all the eight states of the region in tune with the western states of India.

Describing Tripura as a gateway of the "Act East Policy" of the central government, Singh said that very soon "we are also going to have a train to Bangladesh from Tripura heralding a new chapter and opening new vistas in the development of this region by providing the entire region access to the seaports".

Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways V K Singh said the projects, on completion, will provide faster and hassle-free inter-state and international connectivity to Bangladesh and will be a major stride towards strengthening tourism sector of the state.

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb also addressed the event. He said, the people of Tripura are indebted to the Centre for having prioritised it for development.

New roads will be a boon for the people as these will provide all-weather connectivity in this hilly and rainy terrain, he added.

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PTI