Centre to upgrade orphan roads in north-east

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) The Ministry for Development of North East Region (DoNER) in collaboration with the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway on Tuesday announced upgradation of poor roads and highways in the north-east region.

Under the initiative known as North-East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS) the government will upgrade over 1,000 km of roads and inter-state highways in the region.

“First meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for this scheme was held recently, in which five neglected inter-state roads were recommended for funding,” said DoNER Minister Jitendra Singh during a media briefing on the ministry’s plan for 2016.

He said the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL) will be the project implementing agency for the projects.

According to government sources, once the work on the five roads and highways is completed, the government will identify other roads and highways in the region that need upgradation.

“This job has been given to NHIDCL and, in fact, we have started to prepare the estimates and the DPR (Detailed Project Report). All the works will be carried on an emergency bound manner,” Anand Kumar, managing director of NHIDCL, told IANS.

He said that the revival of the roads will give a boost to the economy of the rural areas in the region.

“These were the roads which used to be a strong link for the north-east states, but over the years their conditions deteriorated as no one was there to take care of them. However, with their upgradation, the NE economy will again get a boost,” said Kumar, a 1984 batch Indian Administrative Service officer.

The roads are 37-km long Wokha-Merapani-Golaghat highway, 16-km Doimukh-Harmurti, 21 km Tura-Mankachar road, 16.5 km Sherkhan-Bhagabazar, and 75.6 km Tamei-Tenning road.

Singh also announced that a three-day festival would be organised in the national capital to showcase the inherent economic, social and cultural strength of the north-east region.

Titled “Destination North-East -2016”, it would be held from February 12 to 14.

“The event will also act as a platform for specific business summit consisting of sectors like tourism, agriculture, food processing, and handloom. The aim is to attract investment in all sectors and economic activities,” said Singh.

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