Cabinet clears widening of Manipur-Myanmar road

Cabinet approves Tranche 2 of SASEC road connectivity programme

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved widening and upgradation of the 65-km-long Imphal-Moreh National Highway which will increase the worldwide connectivity of India. Then we can go to Bangkok and then to Indonesia to Malaysia. "So it is the length which is connecting internationally", Road Transport, Shipping and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari said.

The Imphal-Moreh corridor is also a part of the Asian Highway No 1 and acts as India's Gateway to the East.

Manipur being a landlocked state with nearly 90 per cent of the area under hard terrain, currenttly has only road transport as a means of mass transport system within the state.

It is also crucial for socio-economic development in the North East region which now has poor road network, he said.

The project is being implemented with Asian Development Bank's loan assistance under the South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation Road Connectivity Investment Programme.

As well as boosting global trade and business, the upgrade would also be important for security and as well contributing to development in India's northeast, which has a poor road network, Gadkari said.

The Ministry said the development of road infrastructure is of paramount importance to improve connectivity and to ensure that the administrative set-up reaches isolated and remote habitats.

Government of India has notified an Integrated Custom Post (ICP) at Moreh.

The development of this project is essential in order to support the increased traffic volume due to coming up of ICP, an official release said.

The workers of Manipur who specialize in creating bamboo and wood based handicraft items and uniquely designed hand woven textile items will get a new market among Myanmar's customers.

Besides socio-economic development the project will also reduce the average travel time along the project road by almost 40 per cent.

The Centre has also approved 4-laning of Solapur-Bijapur Section of New NH-52 in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Gadkari said the project, to cost an estimated Rs 1,630 crore, would create employment opportunities totalling 2.67 lakh man days in Manipur.

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