Bid to speed up corridor

Assam chief secretary Alok Kumar has taken stock of the progress of the East-West corridor project and asked the authorities concerned to fast track the work to make the route comfortably motorable soon.

By SWAPNANEEL BHATTACHARJEE in Silchar
  • Published 12.09.18
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Silchar: Assam chief secretary Alok Kumar has taken stock of the progress of the East-West corridor project and asked the authorities concerned to fast track the work to make the route comfortably motorable soon.

The East-West corridor project to connect Silchar in south Assam with Saurashtra in Gujarat was announced by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on October 10, 1998.

The 3,300km route from Silchar to Saurashtra was supposed to be completed by 2007. Assam excise and fisheries minister Parimal Suklabaidya, the only minister from Barak Valley and the previous state PWD minister, told The Telegraph on Tuesday that the chief secretary had a meeting with officials of the National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL) and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on Monday evening to discuss various issues like the frequent occurrence of landslides.

Suklabaidya, who was also present in the meeting, said the chief secretary, after learning about the issues, urged the authorities concerned to take necessary measures and speed up the process.

Suklabaidya, who had inspected the project recently, said the stretch from Balacherra-Harangajao, a part of the East-West corridor project, was in a dilapidated condition and efforts were being made to make it commutable.

"Frequent landslides along the stretch have been a major problem over the years. Viable initiatives will be taken so that a long-term solution is achieved and the route is made comfortable for the plying of vehicles," he said.

The route is most likely to be motorable following this working season (winter season), he added.

Sources said the 31km portion between Balacherra and Harangajao had been in a shambles for many areas, including Durbintilla, Devinala and Harangajao, among others.

The road, dotted with deep pits and potholes, becomes extremely risky for vehicular movement during the monsoon.

The foundation stone of the corridor project was laid by then minister of surface transport B.C. Khanduri and Union finance minister Jaswant Singh in 2004.