© AP Photo/Channi Anand
© AP Photo/Channi Anand

KOHIMA: The Union government today announced Rs 10,000-crore road and bridges development projects for Nagaland besides committing a slew of road projects for the entire North-East in five year period.

Road and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari told reporters here that Nagaland road project will be taken up till March 2017.

Turning to the infrastructure development of entire North-East, Gadkari pledged the Centre’s wish in according the highest priority for development of the region.

Towards that objective, the Centre decided to have roads of more than 10,000 km in length in the region which would incur an approximate cost of Rs 1 lakh crore in a five-year span, he said.

Gadkari was talking to media at the Raj Bhavan after laying the foundation stone for four-laning of Dimapur-Kohima National Highway 29 near Chathe River Bridge, Patkai College junction Chumukedima in Dimapur district and gracing the Birth Centenary Celebration of Rani Gaidinliu at Peren district.

On the Nagaland projects, Gadkari said the 43 km-long four laning of NH-39 will be completed at an estimated cost of Rs 1,200 crore.

The project was a realisation of the announcement made by then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee during his maiden visit to the state in October 2003, he said.

Gadkari also assured to take up the work of improvement of city portion of NH-39 in Dimapur and Kohima for about 25 km length at an approximate amount of Rs 250 crore.

The work will include strengthening and construction of foot paths, drains, foot-over-bridges etc, he said.

The Union Minister announced road and bridges projects approved by the Government of India, which include NH-39 Kohima-Imphal road covering a distance of 126 km at the cost of Rs 1250 crores, Peren-Dimapur road, a distance of 63kms at the cost of Rs 364 crore and Kohima-Dimapur bye-pass road covering distance of 61kms at a cost of Rs 550 crore.

Further, Gadkari informed, the Ministry has sanctioned three bridge works under CRF for 2015-16 worth Rs 91 crore.

Elaborating on the Rs 1 lakh crore worth projects to be executed in North East, Gadkari said 23 projects spanning 744 km and costing Rs 10,491 crore have already been started.

He said in North-East the ministry has already decided to start 20 more projects this year itself, covering a 900 km stretch and costing Rs 10 crore.

The Union Minister urged the Nagaland Chief Minister to arrange forest and environment clearance and also complete land acquisition process at the earliest, so that work can start before March 2016 for the state’s leg of projects.

North East and the people of Nagaland should be able to avail possibilities of development, Gadkari said and underscored employment potential as the need of the state.

Pointing out agriculture and industrial development as two important sectors for development of a country, the Union Ministry described North East as a land full of minerals while also having tremendous tourism potential.

Observing the Central government, under the leadership of Narendar Modi, is committed for progress and development, Gadkari said, “Politics is an instrument of socio-economic reform and it is a system by which we can implement appropriate policies to eradicate poverty and increase employment potential”.

Gadkari also reminded that strong political will was essential to make infrastructure development take place at a faster pace (in the state).