AIZAWL, Feb 23 - The 350-km stretch of road between capital Aizawl and Tuipang, which lies in the southernmost part of Mizoram, will be upgraded soon, Union Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways Mansukh Mandaviya said here on Wednesday.
Talking to reporters at the Chief Minister Office’s conference hall last night, Mandaviya said the process of land acquisition is on. “Works will hopefully start after the rainy season, by November this year,” he added.
The Rs 6000-crore project is being funded by the Japanese government. The two-laning of the road, which passes through a rolling terrain and needs constant maintenance, is a part of the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transport Corridor (KMMTC) that will bring the region closer to Myanmar through sea, river and road links.
A sea route is being planned between Kolkata and Sittwe in Myanmar that will aid in the movement of goods. From Sittwe, the waterway will go up to Paletwa in western Myanmar. A road link will then connect the Myanmarese town to Mizoram.
“The highway is also linked to the KMMTC, which connects the entire northeastern States and the rest of Myanmar through road, inland water and sea. This road will be the lifeline for the people of Mizoram,” he said.
The project has been sanctioned through funds from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) under the scheme, North East Road Network Connectivity Project.
“This project will lead to overall development of the region and help in improving sub-regional socio-economic development, and growth of trade and tourism within the country and neighbouring countries,” said Mandaviya, who addressed the press conference in Hindi.
Mandaviya stated that out of 1,482-km of the total 11 national highways in Mizoram, improvement works are going on 309 km and maintenance works on 612 km at a total cost of Rs 2,381 crore. He directed the MoRTH and State PWD officials to expedite the works so that they get completed before the coming rainy season.
The minister, who also holds the portfolio of Chemicals & Fertilisers, said that the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadi Pariyojana, that aims to provide quality medicines to all sections of the society at rates less than 50 per cent of those of branded medicines would be implemented in all the 24 subdivisions of Mizoram.
Mandaviya also inspected the ongoing works of widening and upgrade of the NH-44A, which is being implemented at a cost of Rs 714 crore under the SARDP-NE scheme.