Guwahati: The Centre has sanctioned Rs 820 crore under the flagship Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana programme for building of roads to connect habitations with a population of 500-plus residents in Assam.
Assam PWD and Urban Development Minister Ajanta Neog here today said that under the project, 689 km of roads and 347 bridges would be constructed.
"The project would cover 398 habitations across Assam with a population of 500 plus inhabitants. The central government has already sanctioned Rs 820 crore fund for it and work will start by March-end once technical evaluation and allotment of contracts are completed," she said.
Neog said the project would be in two phases and comes after projects covering habitations with population of 1,000 plus were completed in the state.
"Under PMGSY, a total of 15,908 km of roads were sanctioned earlier to connect habitations with 1,000 plus population. Work on 13,151 km of roads under that has been already completed," she said.
The minister also added that the Union Cabinet at its meeting on February 7 has sanctioned some special proposals for improving connectivity in the border areas of the state.
"As per the Union Cabinet`s decision, total of 1,300 villages with population of 500 plus and 36 other habitations with population of 250 plus in the border areas of the state would be connected by roads.
"This has been conveyed by Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh to Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in a letter," Neog said.
She said the total length of roads to be built in border areas under the project is being worked out.
Neog said a Rs 116 crore project has been sanctioned by the Assam government for construction of 17 roads in inter state border areas of Assam under the Chief Minister`s Border Area Development Programme.
"It will involve construction of 150 km of road lengths mainly in the inter-state borders between Assam and Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Meghalaya and also the international border with Bhutan," she said.
The minister said that three institutes -- Guwahati Engineering College, Jorhat Engineering College and NIT Silchar -- have been included in the list of state technical agencies for evaluation of road projects.
"The three were included by the centre as earlier IIT-Guwahati was the only such agency and this had led to delay in evaluation of projects," she said.
Asked about poor condition of some roads built under the PMGSY, Neog said in some cases contractors were found to have used adulterated bitumen and notices have been served to such contractors.
Neog said the state government will soon start dredging and clean-up of the Bharalu river in Guwahati to ensure that the city does not face problem of artificial flooding during the coming monsoon season.