GUWAHATI, Feb 27 - Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Nitin Jairam Gadkari today laid the foundation stones of two bridge projects, one connecting Jorhat and North Lakhimpur via river island Majuli, and another connecting Lakhimpur and Sivasagar districts via Desangmukh. He also laid the foundation stone for four-laning of four new sections of NH-37 at Moran in Dibrugarh district.
Dibrugarh Staff Correspondent adds: The Union Minister laid the foundation stone of four NH-37 sections at a function held at the Abhayapuri Stadium at Moran in Dibrugarh district. The new sections are from Demow to the end of the Moran Bypass (26.9 km), from the Moran Bypass to Bogibeel junction (19 km), from Nagaon Bypass to Rangapara (18.4 km) and from Rangapara to Kaliabor Tiniali (18.315 km). The total project cost of the four sections is estimated at Rs 1,230.867 crore.
He also announced approval for a new National Highway and preparation of detailed project report for the new roads and bridges and assured to initiate the projects very soon.
Gadkari said the Union Government has decided to spend Rs 1 lakh crore for infrastructure development in the region in the next five years. He added that the new roads would be made of cement so that the need for maintenance do not arise. �In these developmental works, I can assure you that at least 1,50,000 youths will find employment. We have also decided to engage local contractors for the works. It is our objective that locals are preferred in construction works. If convenient, we will also dole out advance to the contractors for mobilisation and machinery purposes to make them more competent,� the Minister said.
Gadkari said it is for the development of the North East that the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) was formed with its head office in Guwahati. The NHIDCL has already been working on 10 projects and it would start works for another four projects.
Gadkari stressed that development can come only when unemployment and poverty were eliminated. �Our infrastructure development projects in the region will certainly create employment and help in mitigating the pains of poverty. With improved communication network, comprising road and waterways, the trade and commerce activities will multiply and the region will see economic growth. Since the region is rich in natural gas, crude oil and mining ores among others, the region will see development in the years to come. Better roads can bring prosperity,� he said.
The thinly attended meeting at Moran was also addressed by Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Sarbananda Sonowal and State PWD Minister Ajanta Neog. Earlier, NHIDCL Managing Director Anand Kumar read out the welcome address.
Jorhat Correspondent adds: Gadkari also laid the foundation stone of a new bridge over the Brahmaputra connecting Jorhat with North Lakhimpur via Majuli at an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 crore.
Addressing a mammoth gathering at the Majuli College, Gadkari said the Centre will complete several mega construction projects in Assam in the next five years which could not be done in the last 50 years.
He also announced that the connecting road between Sivasagar, Lakhimpur, Majuli and Jorhat will be a National Highway, which is expected to fulfil the long-cherished dream of getting smoother surface communication for lakhs of flood-hit population of Upper Assam districts.
Gadkari also mentioned the efforts of local MP Sarbananda Sonowal, who, he said, relentlessly pursued with him the matter of the mega construction projects in the State.
Sonowal thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gadkari for taking up the projects, which he said are expected to open new avenues of welfare and development in the region.
Sonowal said the State government should cooperate in development programmes supported by the Centre as these activities will fulfil the demands of the people of Assam. He thanked the Satradhikars of Majuli, the local representatives of AASU, AJYCP and journalists for placing the demands of the people of Majuli.
North Lakhimpur Correspondent adds: Gadkari today laid the foundation stone of a bridge over the Brahmaputra connecting Dhakuakhana and Desangmukh.
In a public meeting held on the occasion near Brahmaputra College, Gadkari said the bridge would improve connectivity in the region by leaps and bounds and also create jobs for thousands of youths.
Dhakuakhana MLA Naba Kumar Doley was present in the meeting, along with Sarbananda Sonowal.