Construction to Stillwell Road begins

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Guwahati, Nov 02 (UNI) Construction of the famous Stillwell Roads will soon begin to connect Assam with China, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has said.

Mr Gogoi said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has informed him about the Union government's concurrence to construct the Indian portion of the Stillwell Road, when he called upon Dr Singh.

China has already constructed the road in their hilly terrain and in the Indian side work will start soon.

''Dr Singh assured me that work on our part will begin soon and Myanmar will be convinced to begin work on their side,'' Mr Gogoi said yesterday while talking to newsmen.

India extended valuable assistance in upgrading the old Burma Road that links Manipur to Mandalay.

Egged on by the state governments in Assam and the Northeast, India mooted a joint project to restore the famous 1,000-kilometre Stillwell Road which began at Ledo in Assam, ran through the Hukawng Valley in Myanmar, before finishing at Kunming in the Yunan province of China.

Since a 300 km stretch of the road passes through the inhospitable Kachin belt, a subtext of the proposal was Indian assistance for Myanmar's domestic anti-insurgency operations.

Incidentally, the military junta there is not keen on opening the road.

UNI

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