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Rs 700 crore for double laning of Sevak-Nathu La road by 2009

Written by: Staff
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Gangtok, July 8: The double-laning of the Sevok-Nathu La road is scheduled to be completed by 2009 at a cost of Rs 700 crore, according to Border Road Organisation (BRO) sources here.

The road was being widened to meet the possible rise in the movement of traffic in the coming years following the reopening of the Nathu La trade route, sources told UNI here today.

While the double laning of 116 km of 31-A National Highway linking Sevak to Gangtok would be done by National Highway Authority of India, the 56-km-long Jawaharlal Nehru road linking Gangtok to Nathu La would be completed by the 87 road construction company of the 758 Border Task Force under Project Dantak.

The government had earmarked Rs 500 crore for the double laning of Sevak-Gangtok road and Rs 200 crore for widening of the Gangtok-Nathu La road.

The BRO had already completed the detailed project for double laning the Gangtok-Nathu La road and would start the work in October just after monsoon, sources stated.

''Though a target has been fixed to complete the road by March, 2009, we have decided to take a challenge and complete the work by 2008, a year earlier, '' sources informed.

The double laning of the road was not possible all along the road from Gangtok to Nathu La due to some practial problems, sources said adding that stretches of the road had to be realigned and the rest widened.

The Sikkim government had been demanding for the double laning of the crucial road, considered as the lifeline of Sikkim, connecting the state with the outside world.

Giving details, sources said while the first 24 km of road beginning from Gangtok to Kyannsola and the last 9 km stretch of road linking Sherathang to Nathu La will be realigned, the rest 23 km from Kyannasola to Sherathang trade mart will be widened. The work would commence after the state government acquired the land, needed for the expansion of the road, sources said.

The BRO officials had discussed with the state government and they were working on it.

Last year, the BRO was given a deadline in July to link the J N Road from Gangtok with the Chinese road at Nathu La international border by October.

The BRO personnel, looking after 900 km of road in Sikkim and West Bengal overcoming all odds such as heavy rainfall, snowfall and landslide, executed the work well ahead of time.

Sources said the BRO would hand over the Sevak-Gangtok road to the NHAI some time in September or October this year.

The NHAI was also in the process of finalising the detail project and is likely to start work by the end of this year.

While the first 52 km of road from Sevak to Gangtok would be widened, the rest 64 km stretch of road needed realignment.

UNI

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