Tripura miffed over non-upgradation of NH 44



Agartala: Tripura government has expressed dissatisfaction over non-upgradation of the Assam-Agartala National Highway (NH 44) into four lanes.

State Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Badal Chowdhury said, "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone in 2005 for upgrading the NH44 to four lanes, but there was no progress".

"Two months back, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and I met the Prime Minister to remind him about his promise and he assured us that it would be done within the 12th Five Year Plan," he said.

Chowdhury said the railway connectivity could be extended to Sabroom in South Tripura district by 2014 from where the international sea port Chittagong is just located 75 K.M away.

"If the railway track is extended up to the port, Tripura would emerge as the best connected state among the north eastern states with the South Asian countries, he added.

Not only NH-44, the fate of the alternative national highways from North Tripura district to South Tripura district (Kokital to Sabroom) and another road from Manu in Dhalai district to Singhlongbari (Mizoram) is still uncertain though they are considered strategic for state, he said.

"Anyway, we will continue to press for our demand to upgrade NH-44 and two more minor roads to ensure better road connectivity," he said.

According to the 2001 census there are 8132 human habitats (villages) of which 6572 habitats were connected by black top roads and the rest would be connected in a phased manner.

Chowdhury said all the small wooden bridges would be converted into cement bridges or steel-made bailey bridges on priority basis.

PTI