AGARTALA, Feb 17: Tripura is going to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the rendra Modi government’s plan to expand road connectivity in the region as two more roads in the state got recognition as tiol highway taking the total number of roads in the state falling in this elite category to six.
It has been learnt that the Centre is attaching maximum importance to road connectivity keeping in mind the prospect of Tripura becoming the gateway of northeast once the Indian cargo ships start using the Bangladeshi waterways through the Chittagong and the Ashuguanj ports. The Central government also approved Rs 580 crore to establish rail connection between Agartala and Akhaura in Bangladesh. The two latest inclusions in this category are the Jolaibari-Belonia road in South Tripura district and the Agartala-Khowai road connecting West Tripura and Khowai districts. With these inclusions the total length of tiol highways in Tripura became 853 km.
Generally the roads connecting more than one State gets recognition as tiol highway. In case of Northeast the centre has decided to deviate from the norm to give a boost to the overall developmental activities by recognizing smaller and relatively insignificant roads are part of this project.
The work for double lane the 198 km long tiol Highway 44 from Agartala to Churaibari connecting Assam is going on in full swing and the task has been entrusted to the highway division of the Tripura Public Works Department. A part of the road is already having double lane and the present work is going on for another 104 km. The work to double lane the remaining part of the same road from Agartala to Subroom has been entrusted to the tiol Highway Development Corporation.
A team of the central road transport ministry led by the additiol director general KC Varkaia Chand recently visited the State to supervise the progress of the works of the tiol highways. He specially visited the sites where the work to double lane the NH 44 is going on. He also had a meeting with the senior officials of the Central and State government who are involved with the works for development of tiol highways and reviews the progress. He reportedly told the officials that the Central government is attaching highest priority for improvement of road connectivity in this region and money will not be a problem for this.
At present the width of a double lane road of intermediate standard is seven meter, however, a recent instruction from the Centre said that width of all new double lane roads should be at least ten meter.
Deepak Das, Chief Engineer of the tiol Highway Division of the state PWD said length of many of these roads will be reduced after the work to double lane the roads are completed as many of the turns will be straightened. Citing an instance he said the NH 44 from Agartala to Churaibari in Assam border will be shortened by 12 km after the new development works are completed. Similarly the 35 km long NH 108(A) from Jolaibari to Belonia will be two km shorter.