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‘Centre to focus on north-east roads’

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

In a bid to address the issue of poor connectivity in India’s north-east, the central government is planning to focus on the road sector in the region in a big way, Minister of State for Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh said on Friday.

Singh said this when a delegation of Manipur-based Socio-Economic Development Organisation (SEDO) called on him with a request to consider a proposal for an alternative and shorter inter-state road link between Manipur and Assam from Tuibong, the headquarters of Manipur’s Churachandpur district, to Jiribam on the Assam border.

The minister said the emphasis would not only be on constructing new roads and widening the existing ones but also on laying down a network of inter-state roads that were hitherto not owned by any of the respective states and were often referred to as “orphan roads”, according to an official statement.

The SEDO delegation, led by Letkho Haokip, handed over to Singh a memorandum and a letter of recommendation from Manipur parliamentarian Thangso Baihe.

According to the memorandum, the existing link between Manipur and Assam through a road from state capital Imphal to Silchar in southern Assam is about 250 km long and also has a huge traffic load.

An alternative road from Tuibong to Jiribam, if constructed, will reduce the distance between the two states to less than 150 km.

In the memorandum, the delegation requested the minister to take up this road project under the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resource (NLCPR) for 2015-16. This will not only help in improving the connectivity but also help in bringing all the underdeveloped parts of the region closer to the mainstream, it stated.

According to the members of the delegation, they had approached the Manipur government for inclusion of the project in the state priority list of NLCPR for 2015-16 and were told that it had also been recommended to the DoNER ministry.

(With inputs from IANS)

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