Guwahati: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday laid the foundation stones of Rs 3,000-crore highway projects in Manipur.
The government will soon take up additional projects worth Rs 16,023 crore in the state, the Union Minister said.
The road transport, highways and MSME minister said the ongoing Rs 2,250 crore highway work is his "priority" and he is working on expediting it.
The Union Minister laid the foundation stone of the 13 highway projects and inaugurated a road safety project in a virtual ceremony.
The virtual ceremony was attended by Minister of State for the Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways V K Singh, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, and Manipur cabinet ministers, among others.
Terming Manipur as the growth engine for the northeastern region. Gadkari said, "It can contribute significantly to the growth of the country... We are committed to its development. Laying a network of good highways will pave the way for its development. Besides, it (Manipur) should focus on promoting local artisans and endeavor to promote MSMEs."
Claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conferred top priority to the development of infrastructure in the northeastern region, Gadkari also advised the state to accelerate land acquisition and utility shifting for faster execution of projects.
"Projects worth Rs 16,023 crore will be awarded soon for highway works of 874.5 km. Projects worth Rs 2,250 crore are already underway in the state which will also be expedited," Gadkari said.
Foundation Stone Laying and Inauguration of Manipur's NH Projects https://t.co/eAQheY6isJ— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) August 17, 2020
He also said a good beginning has been done and in the coming days, new projects will be taken up. These include a 106.5-km four-lane project between Kohima and Imphal at Rs 2,663 crore, a 220-km four-lane project on a stretch of NH-37 from Imphal to Jiraban at Rs 5,425 crore, and a 118-km two-lane project on NH-129A at Rs 1,765 crore.
The minister added that these projects will be launched soon and he is confident that these will play an important role in developing Manipur.
"At the same time, I will request the chief minister to expedite land acquisition and utility shifting as these are the problems we are facing in the state," he said.
Gadkari also urged the CM to arrange a meeting with his revenue secretary, NHAI and NHIDCL officials in this regard to resolve the issues.
The minister also assured the chief minister to take up an elevated corridor project between Manipur and Imphal at the earliest and said that the detailed project report (DPR) is in the process of being made by the ministry.
Gadkari also asked the CM to provide the utilization certificate for the CRF funds so that a fresh tranche of Rs 250 crore should be granted to Manipur in order to facilitate legislators to start highway projects in the state.
The minister further asked the CM to promote green fuels such as methanol and electricity for vehicles and become a petrol-diesel-free state.
He also urged Union Minister Jitendra Singh to come forward in this regard.
He also assured the CM for larger connectivity to the state by highways, waterways, or airways.
Gadkari also urged the chief minister to promote micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the state by encouraging entrepreneurs in honey production, bamboo cultivation, handloom and handicraft designing, among others.
He said the aim is to take the village industries' turnover from Rs 88,000 crore to Rs 5 lakh crore in two years.
The Manipur chief minister praised Gadkari for fast-tracking stuck highway projects in the state, including the Imphal-Moreh section.