• Gadkari promise to shower road funds

    Union minister for road transport, highways and shipping Nitin Gadkari inaugurated the three-lane New Brahmaputra Bridge at Saraighat today and dedicated it to the nation.

    Built at a cost of Rs 475 crore, the 1,493.58metres-long bridge is expected to ease the problem of traffic congestion at Jalukbari and Amingaon points.

    The foundation stone for the bridge was laid on October 22, 2006, with the target to complete it in three-and-a-half years. However, it could not be achieved because of a variety of reasons.

    Sources in the real estate sector said the better connectivity (through the new bridge) will certainly boost the industry on the north bank of the Brahmaputra as land use/development is
    directly proportionate to transportation.

    “Land is prime raw material for real estate. Now with the bridge to Kuruwa being proposed by the government, and if the ropeway project, which is hanging fire, materialise, the construction sector will certainly have much scope for improvement on the north bank, where land is not an issue compared to the core areas on the south bank. We can take the instance of the stretch between Jalukbari and Mirza (south Kamrup) where real estate is developing,” P.K. Sharma, the president of the Assam Real Estate Industrial Development Association, told The Telegraph.

    The construction was carried out by M/s Gammon India under the supervision of M/s Mott McDonald Private Ltd. The signal-free intersection at Jalukbari, flyover at Hajo junction and illumination of the bridge were added for smooth flow of traffic.

    The bridge was supposed to be inaugurated on January 1 but was postponed citing that the month of Puh was “inauspicious” for such an auspicious occasion. The government decided to inaugurate the bridge in February after chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal got stuck in traffic for 20 minutes while crossing the old bridge.

    Considering Sonowal’s request for a comprehensive development of surface, waterways and inland transport system in the state, Gadkari announced the Centre will invest more than Rs 1 lakh crore in construction of roads and Rs 2,000 crore for augmenting inland water transport.

    Stating that there will be no dearth of funds for the development of roads in Assam, the minister said: “You will be tired asking for funds but I will not get tired giving you funds,” Gadkari told Sonowal.
    He asked the state government to expedite the process of land acquisition and forest clearances for completing projects in a short time.

    “Altogether 1,253km of roads will be developed as national highways in Assam where the Centre will invest Rs 15,000 crore,” Gadkari said. He said the Centre had increased the Central Roads Fund from the earlier sanctioned limit of Rs 450 crore to Rs 800 crore.

    Gadkari said in the next two years, the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation will invest Rs 8,000 crore to construct 143km roads, including important bridges and national highways. The minister said a detailed project report was being prepared for construction of 1,722km roads in the state with an investment of Rs 20,000 crore. He said his ministry will carry out dredging of the Brahmaputra from Sadia to Dhubri and effectively use the silt extracted for the development of the Brahmaputra Express Highway, which will be built as an access control highway.

    Gadkari also laid the foundation stone for development of the Barak river as National Waterways 16 for shipping and navigation. The work includes fairway development of Bhanga–Silchar stretch (70km) in phase I and Silchar–Lakhimpur stretch in phase II.

    The roll on-roll off (Ro-Ro) vessel, MV Gopinath Bordoloi, was also flagged off from Haldia port (Bengal) via the India-Bangladesh Protocol Route to serve on the Brahmaputra.
    Sonowal reiterated his government’s commitment to speedy and timely implementation of projects. Stephen Curry Womens Jersey

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