labels: roads
East-West corridor to be ''substantially completed'' by 2009 news
11 September 2007

The union minister of shipping, road transport and highways, T R Baalu has said that the East-West Corridor which, passes through Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat, is likely to be substantially completed by 2009.

Speaking at the Parliamentary consultative committee meeting of the ministry, Baalu said that on completion, this corridor would open up new opportunities for the people and lead to all round economic development of these states. The consultative committee meeting was held today to review the progress of the work on the East West Corridor.

Baalu said that the main problems affecting the progress have been the delay in disbursement of compensation for land acquisition in Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. HE also said there has also been some delay in Uttar Pradesh due to the condition stipulated by the state government for providing 10-metre wide strip of land for afforestation before allowing tree-cutting, the minister said and added that law and order in Assam has also to some extent affected the work in that state.

However, Balu assured the members of the consultative committee that all these issues were being pursued with the respective state governments and efforts were being made to speed up the work.

Giving details about the progress, the minister said that out of the total length of 3,443km, widening has already been completed on 765km and was in progress on 2,446km, while work for 232km remained to be awarded, including 201km in West Bengal from Siliguri on NH-31 to the West Bengal / Assam Border where the alignment had to be changed due to the Mahananda and Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuaries and Buxa Tiger Reserve, he said.

The minister informed the members that the revised detailed project report (DPR) on the alternate alignment, which avoids wild life altogether, was expected in two months and thereafter action would be initiated on these projects.

Similarly work on a length of 31km in Assam between Udarband and Harangajo also could not be awarded due to declaration of Burail Wild Life Sanctuary, he said and added that revised DPR for alternate alignment in this section is also being prepared for this stretch.

Baalu also said that on the East-West Corridor some major bridges like the Second Brahamputra Bridge near Saraighat in Guwahati, Kosi Bridge on NH-57 in Bihar and the cable-stayed bridge on Kota Bypass in Rajasthan were likely to be completed in 2010.

He assured the members when they pointed out to the damaged roads due to the recent floods in Bihar, that the National Highway Authority of India and the ministry would immediately undertake a survey of the affected areas and expedite the restoration work, while also enlisting their assistance in taking up the pending matters with their respective states to help in expediting the land acquisition.

The MPs who attended the meeting were: M R Reddy, AV Reddy, Dr R Senthil, L R Patil, D P Yadav, Hari Kewal Prasad, Brahmananda Panda, L C Seth, Santosh Gangwar from the Lok Sabha and Silvius Condpan, Rishang Keishing, M L Mandal, Mabel Rebello and Sushila Tiriya from the Rajya Sabha.

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East-West corridor to be ''substantially completed'' by 2009