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NHIDCL to develop roads in NE: Gadkari

By Raju Das

SHILLONG, Sept 25 - Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari today announced that the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) would withdraw and the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) would take its place for development of roads in the Northeast.

Informing about the decision after a two-day review meeting of the ongoing national highway projects in the Northeast with chief ministers of the region, Gadkari said the NHIDCL is implementing sanctioned road projects worth Rs 1,66,000 crore in the Northeast.

The NHAI, he added, has completed construction of 850 km of roads in the region costing Rs 7,000 crore. �The NHAI would be withdrawn for the Northeast and NHIDCL will implement the road projects in the region,� he said after the review meeting.

The Union minister said the ministry will not compromise with quality of the roads constructed under the NHIDCL or the State Public Works Department (PWD).

In the two-day meeting, stakeholders deliberated upon various issues relating to land acquisition, forest clearance and others that hindered road development projects in eight northeastern states.

Gadkari said every ongoing road project in the region was reviewed and the outcome of the meeting was fruitful which will definitely have an impact on road development in the region.

He said the government is giving the highest priority for regional connectivity through development of roads, aviation and waterways. Under this development programme, the ministry is also considering options for developing waterways in the Brahmaputra and other major rivers of the Northeast.

The government is also trying to introduce amphibious sea plane in the region which will attract tourists and provide employment opportunities, he informed.

Gadkari said in the next few years, India will see a big transformation in communication network as the Central government will soon introduce electric taxis, buses, bikes, cable cars and ropeways.

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