Guwahati, Tuesday, September 28, 2010
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Centre accepts State proposal
Ajit Patowary
 GUWAHATI, Sept 27 – The Central Government has accepted an Assam Government proposal for construction of a road along the State’s entire stretch of international boundary with Bhutan, between Udalguri and Kokrajhar districts.

Disclosing this, highly placed official sources said that the State has a plan to construct a road along its boundaries with the neighbouring states as well.

Besides, the sources said, the State Government is also taking up with the Central Government a comprehensive plan for development of the entire Majuli island.

The above roads are envisaged as part of a plan to improve the surface communication system and the law and order situation in these interior international and inter-state border areas.

In the case of Majuli, the Public Works Department (PWD) will execute the part of the plan that is connected with the development of roads, bridges and buildings, while the other departments will execute their respective parts of the job.

For Majuli, the PWD has its own plans to replace the existing 15 timber bridges with RCC ones. Two of these RCC bridges have been completed, while construction of another two such bridges is under progress. The State Government has sanctioned seven more RCC bridges proposed to be built in the island, said the sources

The PWD is also trying to use concrete blocks, called the inter-locking concrete paver blocks, instead of bitumen in view of the fact that bitumen is affected by the State’s high rate of precipitation.

At present, these blocks are used on an experimental basis on the bye-lane that connects the Khanapara Central School area with the Ganeshmandir High School area and in a patch of a road in front of the Nalbari Circuit House.

Though the initial cost of these concrete blocks is relatively high, their durability is longer and they require nominal maintenance cost, said the sources.

During the past nine years, the PWD could blacktop 14,386 km of road, against the 4,367 km blacktopped between 1947 and 2001. Currently, blacktopping of roads measuring over 9,000 km is going on.

The State had 5,000 timber bridges in 2001 with the RCC bridges numbering only 309 then. Now, sources said, the State has completed construction of 1,497 RCC bridges and construction of 1,570 such bridges is under progress.

The PWD is blacktopping all the new roads it is laying now. It is not laying any gravel road at present. However, the department has no alternative at present to repair the existing gravelled roads it has inherited, sources said.

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