GUWAHATI, February 27:Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari today said the Centre would invest Rs 25,000 crore for developing roads, bridges and waterways in poll-bound Assam over the next 2-3 years.
"We have given prime focus in developing road and water infrastructure in the Northeast and Assam. For this, the Centre through NHAI, PWD and NHIDCL will invest about Rs 25,000 crore in Assan over the 2-3 years," Gadkari said at a press conference here.
Acknowledging connectivity is the biggest problem of the Northeast, he said, "After our government came to power last year, we decided to work for the development of the region and set the National Highway Road Development Corporation".
The minister today laid foundation stone of four road projects with a total length of 82.6 km at an expenditure of Rs 1,200 crore.
"Two new highways from Sivasagar to North Lakhimpur via Disangmukh and from Jorhat to North Lakhimpur via Majuli will also be built. The total length of the projects will be 122 km and they will also have two major bridges over Brahmaputra," Gadkari said.
The Ministry has been asked to prepare the DPR for the project, which is likely to cost over Rs 5,000 crore, he added.
"Besides, 624 km of roads will be added to the National Highway in Assam. Along with this, the preparation of DPR is in progress for the Dhubri-Phulbari bridge across Brahmaputra and the estimated cost for this will be Rs 3,000 crore," Gadkari said.
Further 66 road projects are currently going on with a total length of 1,378 km and a combined investment of Rs 14,700 crore, he added.
The minister also said that the Centre was planning to announce 106 national waterways across the country, of which 19 will be in the northeast, including 11 in Assam.
The government is also working on developing Ro-Ro services between Dhubri and Hatsinghimari at a cost of Rs 80 crore, he said.
"This includes construction of two terminals and acquirement of two vessels. A DPR is being prepared to initiate Ro-Ro services at three more places in Assam over Brahmaputra," Gadkari said.
The minister today also laid the foundation stone of a ship repair facility at Pandu port in Guwahati that will be completed by December, 2018 at an investment of Rs 51 crore.
"Pandu had a repair facility but it was abandoned in 1990. For this unit, the state government has provided us with 3.37 acres of land and this facility can be expanded to build ships also in future," Gadkari said