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Efforts on to expedite work: Centre

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, May 3 � In the face of pressures from the State Government, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, C P Joshi said efforts were on to put the East-West Corridor Project back on track.

Joshi blamed the law and order situation for the delay, saying that there were some issues that were beyond the control of the Ministry. �Still, we are trying to get the project work re-started in close coordination with the State Government,� Joshi told newsmen.

The work on the East-West Corridor Project was hit in North Cachar Hills following a spate of attacks by the militants in 2009-2010, forcing the contractors and engineers to flee the area. With the main militant outfit, including anti-talk DHD (J) faction coming on board and entering into a ceasefire pact, the State Government has reported that the situation is conducive for the project work to re-start.

However, there are no takers for the State�s Government�s assurance as scared contractors and project consultants are yet to return to the project site, said officials.

Despite Assam Government�s brave face, the Centre has been blaming insurgency problems, in addition to delay in land acquisition and forest clearance for the delay.

Last November, the Parliament was told that the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) projects of total length of 695 km, including 115 km in the North Cachar Hills are under implementation and 242 km is the length are yet to be awarded. Out of the balance 445 km, five works totalling length of 115 km in North Cachar Hills have been foreclosed due to insurgency problems, the Rajya Sabha was informed.

However, the ongoing projects of East-West Corridor are anticipated to be substantially completed by December 2011, the Parliament was assured.

A length of 678 km in Assam connecting Srirampur via Guwahati- Nagaon-Doboka- Silchar has been entrusted to NHAI, as part of the E-W Corridor under Phase II.

Official sources said that all work on E-W Corridor�s Assam portion has been awarded barring 31 km between Udarband and Harangajao for which Detailed Project Report (DPR) for realignment is in progress and four laning works are in different stages of progress. The 18 km of Guwahati by-pass road has been completed. For the 31 km stretch between Udarband and Harangajao, an estimate of Rs 51.61 crore for improvement to two-lane has been approved by the Ministry, said sources.

Meanwhile, the total length of National Highways in the North-East including Sikkim is 8,480 km. Of the total length, about 1,885 km is with BRO and 5642 km is with the State PWDs, while NHAI is executing only 953 km.

Meanwhile, replying to a question, Joshi said most of the projects bordering China are being executed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and under the supervision of the Home Ministry. The Centre has decided to fast track all road projects bordering China with BRO playing a crucial role.

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Efforts on to expedite work: Centre

NEW DELHI, May 3 � In the face of pressures from the State Government, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, C P Joshi said efforts were on to put the East-West Corridor Project back on track.

Joshi blamed the law and order situation for the delay, saying that there were some issues that were beyond the control of the Ministry. �Still, we are trying to get the project work re-started in close coordination with the State Government,� Joshi told newsmen.

The work on the East-West Corridor Project was hit in North Cachar Hills following a spate of attacks by the militants in 2009-2010, forcing the contractors and engineers to flee the area. With the main militant outfit, including anti-talk DHD (J) faction coming on board and entering into a ceasefire pact, the State Government has reported that the situation is conducive for the project work to re-start.

However, there are no takers for the State�s Government�s assurance as scared contractors and project consultants are yet to return to the project site, said officials.

Despite Assam Government�s brave face, the Centre has been blaming insurgency problems, in addition to delay in land acquisition and forest clearance for the delay.

Last November, the Parliament was told that the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) projects of total length of 695 km, including 115 km in the North Cachar Hills are under implementation and 242 km is the length are yet to be awarded. Out of the balance 445 km, five works totalling length of 115 km in North Cachar Hills have been foreclosed due to insurgency problems, the Rajya Sabha was informed.

However, the ongoing projects of East-West Corridor are anticipated to be substantially completed by December 2011, the Parliament was assured.

A length of 678 km in Assam connecting Srirampur via Guwahati- Nagaon-Doboka- Silchar has been entrusted to NHAI, as part of the E-W Corridor under Phase II.

Official sources said that all work on E-W Corridor�s Assam portion has been awarded barring 31 km between Udarband and Harangajao for which Detailed Project Report (DPR) for realignment is in progress and four laning works are in different stages of progress. The 18 km of Guwahati by-pass road has been completed. For the 31 km stretch between Udarband and Harangajao, an estimate of Rs 51.61 crore for improvement to two-lane has been approved by the Ministry, said sources.

Meanwhile, the total length of National Highways in the North-East including Sikkim is 8,480 km. Of the total length, about 1,885 km is with BRO and 5642 km is with the State PWDs, while NHAI is executing only 953 km.

Meanwhile, replying to a question, Joshi said most of the projects bordering China are being executed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and under the supervision of the Home Ministry. The Centre has decided to fast track all road projects bordering China with BRO playing a crucial role.