Roads to prosperity

14 NE rivers to be joined in countrywide inland water traffic network: Gadkari

A Correspondent

Jorhat, May 1: Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Nitin Jairam Gadkari today laid the foundation stones of ten different highway projects, that includes four-laning of the Numaligarh-Demow section, and the altertive highway connecting Koliabor-Gohpur-Numaligarh and the Silchar – Badarpur section.

“Where there is a will, there is a way and where there is no will, there is no way but only surveys, meetings and discussions. Our government is committed to the overall development of the State in terms of roads and infrastructure which has been a long-standing demand of the people of this region,” said Gadkari at the function.

He stated that the main hurdle of every road project is land acquisition and forest clearance, because of which certain projects get delayed.

The Union minister said that the Centre is willing to fund strategic road projects in the State, provided the State government expedites land acquisitions and forest clearances.

He said the Centre has also taken up a project, awaiting cabinet approval, by which 101 rivers of the country will constitute an inland water traffic network, in which 14 rivers of Assam including the Brahmaputra, Subansiri, Doyang, Lohit and Beki will be linked up.

“Recently, during my visit to Sweden, I drove a bus capable of running on roads and also float on water. Introduction of hovercrafts on the river Brahmaputra may be a viable option. With cooperation from the State government, we can usher in an era of prosperity and progress,” he said.

Not to be outdone in trumpeting the “initiatives” of the Congress government, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said, “I admit that there is still much to be done in terms of roads and infrastructural development in the State, but I would like remind all that the decision to build roads under the tiol Highway project was taken long before by the Congress government at the Centre and it is now that the present Central government is implementing these projects.”

“14 years back Assam had only 309 concrete bridges while others were mostly made of wood and bamboo. But now the scerio has changed with more than 3,900 RCC bridges and village roads constructed by the state PWD. The East-West Corridor project was first started during our government. I welcome Nitin Gadkari on his visit to Assam and hope that both the State and the Central governments can work hand in hand in taking Assam to new heights,” Gogoi stated.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, in his address said, “From yesterday, I have been on a tour with our honourable Union Minister Nitin Gadkari who has laid the foundation stone of tiol Highway projects worth Rs 13,000 crores in the Northeast. The Assam projects are worth Rs 5,300 crore, and in the next 5 to 6 years there will be a huge transformation in terms of roads and infrastructure.”

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