Agartala: The central government is considering to set up a corporation to develop roads and improve connectivity in the northeastern states, a Tripura minister said Sunday.
"Union Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari told me that the central government is considering to form a corporation to develop and expand road connectivity in northeast," Tripura PWD and Revenue Minister Badal Choudhury told reporters here.
Choudhury met Gadkari and officials of the ministry of road transport and highways (MoRTH) in New Delhi last week and discussed the problems of national highways and other roads in northeast.
He said: "Gadkari did not elaborate the role of the northeastern states in the proposed corporation. I have requested him to convene a meeting of the PWD ministers of all the northeastern states to discuss the proposed corporation."
Gadkari told the Tripura minister that non-availability of agency to construct new roads and maintain existing roads in the northeast and various other technical problems prompted the central government to consider constituting the corporation.
Choudhury said in order to expand road infrastructure in the border areas and to connect all two-lane highways of the border towns with national highways and other roads, a two-day meeting was held by the MoRTH in April 2009, but no progress has been made in this regard yet.
Responding to the state government`s demand to declare another national highway (310 km) connecting Tripura`s Sabroom border town and Assam`s small township Kukital, the MoRTH in May declared 157 km portion of the Sabroom-Kukital road as National Highway-208.
The Tripura minister said he urged Gadkari to declare the entire Sabroom-Kukital road as the national highway to get access to the Chittagong international port as the sea port is only 72 km from Sabroom.
Choudhury also requested Gadkari to take urgent steps to develop Tripura`s only National Highway-44 with at least two-lane category.
The NH 44 (630 km), which connects Agartala and Guwahati via Shillong, is the life line of the northeastern states to ferry men and materials, including essential commodities.