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Cabinet nod to upgrade Imphal-Moreh road
Spl correspondent
 NEW DELHI, July 12 - The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval for upgrade and widening of 65 km of Imphal-Moreh section of NH-39 in Manipur at a cost of Rs 1,630.29 crore.

Briefing newsmen, Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari said that for fulfilling India’s “Look East” Policy and to promote and enhance trade link with South East Asia, the Government of India has notified an Integrated Custom Post (ICP) at Moreh. The development of this project is essential in order to support the increased traffic volume due to coming up of ICP.

Besides socio-economic development the project will also lead to reduction in average travel time along the project road by nearly 40 per cent. In addition, the new features of road safety namely vehicular underpasses, crash barriers, road signs and markings, service roads for segregation of slow and high moving traffic, truck lay-by, bus-bays, etc., will help in greatly reducing accidents. Improved highway and lesser travel time will lead to savings in terms of fuel cost.

Gadkari said that NH-39 from Imphal to Moreh near the Myanmar border would reduce travel time from three-and-a-half hours to one hour and 45 minutes.

“The project is of international importance as it would make it possible to travel from India to Myanmar and even Bangkok by road,” Gadkari said.

The Imphal-Moreh Highway would not only boost international trade and business, but would also be important from security point of view, he said. It is also crucial for socio-economic development in the North Eastern region, which currently has poor road network, he said.

He said the project would create employment opportunities in Manipur and is part of the Asian Highway project.

Gadkari said the NE region has been a priority for the BJP government, which has already started road infrastructure projects worth Rs 50,000 crore in the region.“Our target is to have projects worth Rs 2 lakh crore by the time we complete our five years,” the Minister said.

The project will improve connectivity between Imphal with the eastern part of the State. Based on the existing and projected traffic requirements the NH-39 will be widened to four lane between Lilong village and Wanginj village, while the stretch between Wanginj village to Khongkhang will be upgraded to two lane with paved shoulder.

The project is being developed with ADB’s loan assistance under the South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Programme which aims at upgradation of road infrastructure in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India (BBIN) in order to improve the regional connectivity among BBIN nations. The project corridor is also a part of the Asian Highway No. 01 (AH01) and acts as India’s Gateway to the East.

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