Guwahati: The Centre has approved a Rs 2,096 crore project for four-laning of the National Highway 37 from Numaligarh to Dibrugarh in upper Assam and work is expected to start by this year end .
"The approval for four-laning of the stretch has come. The Rs 2,096 crore project would be developed under the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) Annuity method," Assam PWD and Urban Development minister Ajanta Neog said here.
She said the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) would undertake the 179 km project in three phases.
"The High Powered committee on Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for the North Eastern Region (SARDP-NE) had in 2011 recommended for making the project a two-lane one. However, we appealed to the Centre, including the Prime Minister, for a four-lane project," Neog said.
Asked by when the project is likely to be completed, she said, "While details would be handed to us once NHAI finalises the tender, NHAI generally is expected to complete any projects taken by it within 30 months from the date of start of work."
She said the four-laning of the stretch would act as a major economic boost for the upper Assam region.
Neog also said the Centre has given in-principle approval for 1,000 km of new roads under the Bharat Nirman programme of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana in Assam.
"For the first phase, Rs 310 crore has been sancntioned for 426 km in various parts of the state. This will also include 90 bridges in these stretches. The rest 574 km will be taken up in the second phase," she said.
Regarding the East West Corridor, Neog said of the 670 km taken up so far under the project, work on 400 km has been completed and the rest is expected to be ready by March 2014.
"There was some security related problem in the Dima Hasao district due to which the earlier tended had to be foreclosed. However, a new tender was later taken up and work on the 70 stretch in the district has started," she said.
The minister said the state suffered losses to the tune of Rs 600 crore due to damaged roads, culverts and bridges during the recent floods.
"We have made a preliminary assessment of the losses suffered and sent it to the Centre," she said.