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DoNER minister dedicates two key Northeast roads

Union minister for Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh on Saturday dedicated to the people two vital roads improving connectivity between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and Meghalaya.

The 17.47-km-long Doimukh-Harmuti road linking Arunachal Pradesh with Assam and the 1.66-km-long Tura-Mankachar road linking Meghalaya with Assam were inaugurated by Singh through video conferencing at a function here, an official statement said.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union minister said the inauguration of the two roads marks a reiteration of the government's commitment to the development of the North-Eastern Region.

"The Northeast has undergone a revolutionary transformation in the last five years under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he said.

The prime minister has paid several visits to the Northeast demonstrating his indulgence towards the region, Singh said.

Pointing out that the Northeast faced a unique challenge as the region lacked intra-regional connectivity compared to connectivity with the rest of the country, he said the inter-state connectivity in the Northeast suffered on account of negligence.

The Union government has given focus to revival of such "orphan roads", he said.

Singh said due to the intervention of the central government, there has been a visible transformation in rail, road and air connectivity in the Northeast.

Two Northeastern states - Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya - have been brought on the rail map.

Besides, the longest rail-cum-road bridge on the Brahmaputra river at Bogibeel, was inaugurated last year on December 25 and a new greenfield airport at Pakyong, Sikkim's first, was inaugurated on September 24 last year. It was built at a cost of Rs 553.5 crore.

Singh said improved connectivity and infrastructure has removed bottlenecks in the development process, giving boost to the region's economy and promoting industry.

The improved infrastructure will lead to job creation, which in turn is expected to arrest migration of the youth, he added.

The Doimukh-Harmuti interstate road has been constructed under the North East Road Sector Development Scheme (NERSDS) at a cost of Rs 58.25 crore.

The length of the road in Assam is 7.87 km and the remaining 9.60 km is in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Tura-Mankachar Road is the first road which has been completed under the NERSDS.

This road has also been funded by North Eastern Council at a cost of Rs 4.71 crore. It provides an alternative connectivity to Tura and will immensely benefit the people residing in the West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya.

Both the roads are designed as two lane carriage ways to cater the traffic load of 10 MSA (Million Standard Axles), the statement said.