The Centre on Wednesday cleared the widening and upgradation of a 65-km national highway stretch from Imphal to Myanmar border that will ultimately go up to Thailand and Malaysia under an Asian Highway project.
The stretch, in Manipur on NH 39, is part of the project to connect India with Southeast Asian nations. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave the nod for the Rs 1,630.29 crore project to be executed by National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation under the Road Transport and Highways ministry.
“It (Imphal-Moreh) is connecting India to Myanmar. Then we can go to Bangkok and then to Indonesia to Malaysia. So it is the length which is connecting internationally,” Road Transport, Shipping and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said. “It is going to create more employment and business in that area particularly in Manipur. It will be a growth engine for North-East region of the country,” he said. Gadkari said Rs 1.5 lakh crore is to be spent on centre’s road projects on the Northeast connectivity.
The project is being developed with ADB’s loan assistance under the South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation Road Connectivity Investment Program. It aims to upgrade road infrastructure in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India in order to improve the regional connectivity among BBIN nations.
The Imphal-Moreh corridor is also a part of the Asian Highway No 1 and acts as India’s Gateway to the East. The Cabinet also approved four-laning of Solapur-Bijapur section of New NH-52 in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Four Laning of about 110 km road is estimated to cost Rs 1,889 crore including the cost of land acquisition and pre-construction activities.