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Over 4,000 km of roads, highways to be constructed in northeast

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New Delhi: Over 4,000 km of roads and highways are to be constructed over the next few years in the northeastern states to improve connectivity and change the fortunes of the region, a top official has said.

This constitutes the bulk of the 6,841 km of roads and highways to be built in India’s hilly states, which include Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, at an estimated cost of Rs.45,164 crore (nearly $7 billion), said Anand Kumar, the first managing director of the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (NHIDCL), which was created in 2014.

“We are the first to start 18 projects in Tripura, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh with a total length of 600 km at a cost of Rs.6,500 crore. This year we have started five projects in Arunachal Pradesh,” Anand Kumar told IANS.

The NHIDCL took over the projects of the Border Road Organization (BRO) and the Public Works Department (PWD) of the states concerned and has started showing results in no time in terms of improving the shoddy condition of the roads and highways in the region, he added.

Terming infrastructure the prime factor that can change the fortunes of the region, Anand Kumar said the corporation has taken all measures to maintain transparency and ensure that road and highway construction is all done with perfection.

“For transparency, we have handed over the work to regional contractors in small packages at a pre-estimated cost. These ensure that there is no misuse of funds by handing over a large stretch to a single contractor,” Anand Kumar said.

The company has decided on 11 projects in Manipur, nine in Meghalaya, three in Mizoram, four in Nagaland, 23 in Arunachal Pradesh and seven in Tripura. In several projects, Japanese infrastructure major JICA has also chipped in. The Imphal-Moreh project is being funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), considering it is the link between India and Myanmar.

Emphasizing that projects in the remaining northeastern states will be started within months, Anand Kumar, a 1984 Kerala batch IAS officer, said that there are several projects for four-lane roads, including the NH-39 that connects Dimapur and Kohima – considered Nagaland’s main business route which is in a pathetic state during the monsoon.

“It is not an easy geographical area to work in, with undulating terrain and geological surprises. We try our best and, most importantly, after each road and highway is constructed by the local contractors, to whom we give out the work, our engineers do the quality check and if found below standards, we take the necessary action against them,” he said.

Anand Kumar admitted that land acquisition and forest clearance are emerging as one of the prime factors in road construction in Assam and Meghalaya. “We are taking it up with the forest ministry and are soon likely to see an end to the problem.”

He also emphasized on seven key strategies that NHIDCL follows, including use of e-tools through which bidding for tenders is done online. Existing procedures and processes are also being revisited to effectively monitor road construction and prevent graft.

Other strategies include continuous capacity building, use of new and appropriate technologies, creation of a scientific and innovative temper, speedy dispute resolution mechanism and regular consultation with stakeholders.

(Rupesh Dutta, IANS)

(Photo: www.india.com)

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Hello Foodies ! You Can Spot These 8 Street Foods at Every Nook and Corner in India

Here is a list of delicious street food items, now available everywhere in India

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Delicious Street Food
Delicious Street Food in India. Wikimedia

Sep 02, 2017: Street foods in India is the new trend amongst foodies these days and are indeed delectable to savor. Previously, it was known that street food confined to a particular region. However, nowadays, a south Indian food can be found even in the north of the country and here is why you don’t need to go all the way to Assam to eat momos.

Many street food items have become quite popular throughout. Let’s have a look at these street food items.

Here is a list of delicious street food items, now available everywhere:

Vada Pao

Street Foods
Vada Pao in Delhi. Wikimedia

Vada Pao is the Indian style burger, quite famous in Maharastra. Fried potato dumplings are stuffed inside pao and are coupled with green chili and spicy chutney that add flavor to this Maharashtrian dish.

Chaat

Street Foods
Papri Chaat. Wikimedia

The sweet, tangy, and spicy taste of Aloo tikki, Gol Gappa, bhelpuri, Sevpuri, will tempt you. This is a mouth-watering street food from Uttar Pradesh. It adds extra taste to your buds when garnished with curd and chutney.

Momos

Street Foods
Cabbage Momos. Wikimedia

The white colored steamed snack of North East is getting popular amongst Indians these days. It makes an awesome combo when served with spicy red chutney and hot momos.

Also Read: “Regionality is What Sets Indian Food Apart” from the Cuisines Across the World, says MasterChef Australia Judge Gary Mehigan 

Poha Jalebi

Street Foods
Poha the staple breakfast of India, with Jalebi. Wikimedia

Sweet jalebis served with salty poha is a trademark street food of Madhya Pradesh. Now the combination is a hit amongst people of the country.

Idli Sambhar

Street Foods
Idli-Sambhar-Coconut chutney. Wikimedia

Idli Sambhar is the most popular street food of Tamil Nadu in India. It is a delicious combo of idli, sambhar and coconut chutney.

Chole Bhatura

Street Foods
Chole bhature. Wikimedia

Chole Bhature, a favorite dish of every Indian is chiefly a treat of Punjab.  It is served with green chilies, onions, and chutney.

Dhokla

Street Foods
Gujarati Dhokla (Khaman Dhokla). Wikimedia

The sweet-sour Dhoklas are a specialty of Gujarat state. It is a famous street food baked from the fermented batter of gram flour. This treat is also served with chutney and green chilies.

Pyaz ki Kachori

Street Foods
Rajasthani Pyaz ki Kachori. Wikimedia

Pyaz ki Kachori was originated in Jodhpur city of Rajasthan. The dish is now relished all over India. These crispy and flaky kachoris with onion masala, garnished with sweet tamarind chutney will throb your heart.


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Transport Ministry in India Offers Highways to lay Optic Fibres, Oil and Gas Pipes

India's 2 lakh kilometers stretched highway has been offered by the transport ministry to be used for laying optic fibers, oil and gas pipeline

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Transport Ministry
The Indian Highway is 2 lakh kilometers long. Wikimedia
  • To generate revenues, the transport ministry has offered its highways to be used for the laying of optic fibers, gas and oil pipes
  • Indian highway stretches 2 lakh kilometers in length
  • The revenue will be further used by transport ministry for improving the quality of roads

July 19, 2017: The Indian Highway, stretching 2 lakh kilometers in length, have been offered for the laying of optic fibers, oil and gas pipelines by the Transport Ministry.

The transport ministry hopes to generate more revenues with this decision. The revenue will be utilized for improving and maintaining the quality of roads.

Nitin Gadkari announced this decision on behalf of the ministry at INFOCOM 2017. The minister said, “For building and maintaining a competitive edge over the world, there is a need to leverage technology to get the maximum returns from assets.”

ALSO READ: Railway Board requests Finance Ministry for Separate Fund to Improve Safety of the Indian Railways

PTI also reports the announcement of computerized processes for driving license. Gadkari, speaking at INFOCOM 2017, said “The fitness of a person for issue driving license will be decided through a computer program with no human interference. This will greatly enhance safety on roads by ensuring that licenses are issued only to deserving drivers.”

The ministry’s initiative of e-tolling, implemented last year, has already made significant contributions to cut down traffic and congestion on Indian highways, observed Nitin Gadkari.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Megh Rahat: Operation Underway as Floods and Landslides affect Assam

At least 13,000 people are affected by the recent floods and landslides

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Flood in Assam. VOANEWS
  • At least 13,000 people have been affected in Assam
  • Rescue operation titled “Megh Rahat” underway
  • Landslides in the hilly Dima Hasao district snapped rail link to Barak Valley

Assam, June 04, 2017: At least 13,000 people in Assam have been affected by flood, officials said on Sunday. Also, landslides triggered by incessant rain disrupted rail connectivity to the state’s Barak Valley region.

Assam State Disaster Management Authority officials said at least 13,000 people have been affected due to the year’s first wave of floods in 28 villages in Lakhimpur, Jorhat and Biswanath districts, in the past 24 hours.

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Besides, landslides in the hilly Dima Hasao district snapped rail link to Barak Valley. The Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) had to cancel a passenger train to Silchar from Lumding on Saturday after landslides affected the hill section.

The water level in Brahmaputra river has indicated an increasing trend and is flowing above the danger level in Nimatighat, prompting the officials to suspend ferry services to the island district of Majuli from Jorhat.

The Assam government has already instructed the officials in flood-prone districts to arrange relief and rescue materials in case of emergency situations.

The army, along with the civil administration, also carried out a joint exercise on flood rescue titled “Megh Rahat” in Dharamtul area in Morigaon district.

The exercise aimed to ensure collective mutual benefit of all participants, who ranged from the army and State Disaster Rescue Force (SDRF) personnel to local population including school children. (IANS)