‘Centre to pump Rs 25,000 cr into Assam to develop tiol highways’
Jorhat, Feb 27: Union Transport minister Nitin Gadkari today laid the foundation stone for a new tiol highway in Upper Assam, comprising of two major bridges over the Brahmaputra connecting Jorhat and Majuli via Lakhimpur and Sivasagar and North Lakhimpur via Disangmukh. The total length of the highway, which has got "in-principle" approval from the Road Transport ministry, would be 122 km and will connect NH 37 with NH 52.
The estimated cost of the project would be around Rs 5,000 crore. The total length of the bridges, including the two major ones over Brahmaputra, would be around 25 km.
Addressing a large crowd, Gadkari said, "It was Sarbanda Sonowal who led a delegation of Xatradhikars, representatives of several organizations and senior citizens to Delhi. They reached my residence at around 11:30 in the night and requested me to somehow connect both the ends of the river island Majuli with North Lakhimpur, Sivasagar and Jorhat. And accordingly, honouring his request and the demands of the people, I feel proud to announce the foundation stone laying of two important bridges that will interlink three districts via Majuli."
Gadkari said roads are an indispensable factor for development. "Without water, electricity and roads, no industry can be set up and without industries, no youth can get a job. We are committed to eradicate poverty, provide employment and 24 hours electricity," he said.
The Union minister said work to make the river Brahmaputra an important waterway has begun with the iuguration of the jetty work at Pandu in Guwahati.
Besides, a dry dock for ship repair is underway, he said.
"We have recently tied up with Bangladesh to export fly ash from Salakati through Brahmaputra. Projects on hovercrafts have also started and the next time I come to Majuli, it would be only in a hovercraft," Gadkari said.
Union Minister Sarbanda Sonowal criticized Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and PWD Minister Ajanta Neog for abstaining from the foundation laying ceremony.
Before winding up his Assam visit, Gadkari said in Guwahati that another 624-km of roads will be added to the State's tiol highway network and DPRs are in progress for the Dhubri-Phulbari bridge across Brahmaputra which will be built at an estimated cost of Rs 3,000 crore. The Central government would pump in around Rs 25,000 crore into Assam in the next two/three years for development of tiol highways.