Sorry condition of roads in Sikkim as compared to TAR

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Gangtok, Nov 11 (UNI) Absence of a streamlined connectivity policy for this strategic Himalayan state of Sikkim, which shares international borders with the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China, Nepal and Bhutan, is generating frustration both in the State Government and the Army.

All the three vital connectivity entities - road, air and rail - have been bogged down in the Ministerial quagmire, thereby putting the 22nd state of India in a lopsided position against its imposing Tibetan neighbours.

To state, National Highway 31A, the lifeline of Sikkim, has not recovered yet from this year's monsoon slaught triggering crises of essential fuels at times.

The much-hyped double laning project of the 92 kms NH 31A from Sevoke in Siliguri to Gangtok, estimated to be around Rs 1,100 crore, is yet to take off despite claims by the National Highways Authority of India to complete the project by 2011.

The completion of this project is significant as the present Nathu La border trade is expected to be declared as open trade in 2011.

The Border Roads Organisation's (BRO) double laning project from Gangtok to Nathu La (64 kms) is also in doldrums as BRO is still awaiting forest clearance from the Regional Centre based in Shillong.

However, Army sources said compared to the sorry condition of the roads in India, the TAR boasts of a number of road networks, oil pipelines, rail heads, airports and communication network highlighting the lack of infrastructural and developmental works in the State.

UNI

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