NGOs unhappy with slow progress of East-West Corridor

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Agartala, Oct 07 (UNI) The NGOs in North East states have drawn the attention of Union Surface Transport ministry on the slow progress of the 'much-hyped' West-East Corridor linking Porbandar in Gujarat to Silchar in Assam.

According to a official report, about six per cent progress had been made in the project so far despite Centre's priority fo develop infrastructure in NE.

Referring to the review report of East-West Corridor, the NGO leaders stated that 43 per cent of the land required to broaden the existing highway is yet to be acquired forcing the Centre to direct some state governments to complete the formalities by this month.

The major challenges were the non-completion of land acquisition process, diversion of forest land, cutting of trees, shifting of telephone and electricity lines and security threat to workers and engineers employed in the region, the officials added.

The construction of a short stretch on the 678-km four-lane East-West Corridor in Assam, extended from Shrirampur in West Bengal to Silchar in southern Assam, had been started near Guwahati.

Even though over Rs 50,000 crore have been pumped into the region under the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme (SARDP-NE), including improving of road connectivity to all state capitals, the national highways in the reigion were in a dilapidated condition.

The stretch serves as an entry into Assam, Meghalaya and other states like Tripura and Mizoram.

The NGOs have demanded the ministry to accelerate the process of construction as a little expenditure on the sanctioned works and poor maintenance of some stretches of national highways, especially Jorabat-Barapani-Shillong section of NH 40 in Meghalaya and the Churaibari-Agartala section of NH 44 in Tripura.

UNI

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