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Assam to build 890-km express highway along Brahmaputra

Assam Chief Minister Sonowal said that the concept of an express highway along both banks of the Brahmaputra was conceived by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Guwahati | Published: January 24, 2017 7:45:28 pm
A view of the mighty Brahmaputra river, that floods every year in the state (Photo by Vishnu Varma) A view of the mighty Brahmaputra river, that floods every year in the state (Express Photo by Vishnu Varma)

The Assam government would soon start work on a 890-km Express Highway along the entire length of the Brahmaputra in the state from Sadiya in the east to Dhubri in the west, which in turn would also help arrest river-bank erosion, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said in Dibrugarh on Tuesday.

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Launching the survey work for the proposed Brahmaputra Express Highway, CM Sonowal said his government had already sought support from World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Ambassadors of several countries in recent weeks.

Chief Minister Sonowal also announced that Government of The Assam government would also soon send an expert committee to China to carry out an in-depth study on how that country had tamed the Hwang-Ho river that was once termed as a sorrow of China. “We want to replicate the same to tame the Brahmaputra in Assam,” he said.

“Many term the Brahmaputra as the sorrow of Assam. However, judicious use of such a great river will change the perception and we will be able to use the river to catapult growth of the state,” Sonowal said. He said this after dedicating a 9-km dyke built at a cost of Rs 29 crore to protect Dibrugarh town from the Brahmaputra’s fury.

“Our government has already taken up several measures to develop both banks of the mighty Brahmaputra and the proposed Brahmaputra Express Highway is an important step forward in this regard. We have already held three rounds of discussions with officials of the World Bank and Asian Development Bank in this regard,” Sonowal said.

“We have also apprised visiting Ambassadors of several countries of the opportunities available in the form of technical support to tap the resources available from the river,” he said. He also distributed engagement letters to 16 groups today for carrying out survey of the project.

The chief minister also said that the concept of an express highway along both banks of the Brahmaputra was conceived by Union Road Transport and Highway Minister, Nitin Gadkari. The latter had pointed out that silt dug out by dredging the river could be used for construction of the express highway, Sonowal said. c

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