Centre releases Rs 600 cr for repairing of NHs and dredging in Assam

Union ministry for road transport and highways has released Rs 200 crore initially to repair the existing National Highways (NHs) in Assam which are in bad shape. The decision was taken at a meeting between Union minister Nitin Gadkari and Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal in New Delhi on Wednesday.

The meeting also hinted at releasing more funds to the state once the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) team, which is in Assam, submits its report within a week to make certain stretches of NHs motorable. Sonowal requested Gadkari to set up a permanent office of National Highways Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) in Guwahati.

Sonowal requested Gadkari’s intervention for immediate sanctioning of balance amount for repairing of NH 44 covering a stretch of 61.80 km in Barak Valley which is in pathetic condition. He also called for sanctioning of 6-laning of Guwahati bypass on NH 37 which is pending with NHAI. Moreover, the chief minister also drew the attention of the Union minister for rehabilitation of Gai Bridge on NH 52 near Dhemaji.

Sonowal requested Gadkari for immediate repairing of NH 37 from Nagaon to Kaliabor and Numaligarh to Dibrugarh under NHIDCL. Also NH 37A from Kalibor to Dolabari, NH 52A from Gohpur to Holongi and NH 52 from Jamuguri to Gohpur need immediate facelift, the chief minister said.

The meeting also decided to start the proposed dredging of the 600-km stretch of the Brahmaputra from Sadiya to Dhubri from September, once the monsoon is over. The meeting also highlighted that for dredging the entire stretch, altogether six dredgers would be pressed into service and a minimum 45-meter depth would be maintained throughout the entire stretch of the river in the state.

The dredging plan aims to de-silt the river bed, thereby enhancing the water carrying capacity of the Brahmaputra which would act as a deterrent against perennial flood in Assam. Moreover, the sand thus collected from dredging would be used to construct the Brahmaputra Express Highway along the river. Sonowal mentioned that the DPR along with technical report would be submitted by the state government to the Centre soon.

In the meeting, the Union minister informed that the ministry is at an advanced stage of starting the works of two more bridges on the Brahmaputra, one being the 30 km Dhubri-Phulbari bridge. Moreover, detailed project report for Gohpur-Numaligarh and Majuli-Jorhat links are at advanced stages of implementation. The meeting also decided in principle that existing NH 52 would be converted into a 4-lane express highway between Baihata Chariali and Tezpur in view of strategic importance. Moreover, Rs 73 crore has also been allocated for Mangaldoi by-pass.

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