The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the upgradation and widening of 65 km of Imphal-Moreh Section of NH-39 in Manipur. The project cost is estimated at Rs 1,630.29 crore. An official statement said, “The project will improve connectivity between Imphal with the eastern part of the state. Based on the existing and projected traffic requirements the NH-39 will be widened to 4 lane between Lilong village and Wanging village, while the stretch between Wanting village to Khang Khang will be upgraded to 2 lane with paved shoulder.”
The project is being developed with ADB’s loan assistance under the South Asian Sub-Regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Road Connectivity Investment Program. The project corridor is also a part of the Asian Highway No. 01 (AH01). Manipur being a landlocked state with almost 90 per cent of the area under difficult terrain, currently has only road transport as a means of mass transport system within the state.
Government of India has notified an Integrated Custom Post (ICP) at Moreh. The development of this project is essential to support the increased traffic volume on account of the development of the ICP. Manipuri workers, who specialise in creating bamboo and wood-based handicraft items and uniquely designed handwoven textile items, will get a new market among Myanmarese customers. Small-scale industries such as those making farm implements and tools, stationery, plastic extrusion items and carpentry units, could also develop markets beyond the border.
Besides socio-economic development the project will also reduce the average travel time along the project road by nearly 40 per cent. The CCEA also approved the development of four-laning of Solapur-Bijapur Section of New NH-52 in Maharashtra and Karnataka. The development of 4-laning of about 110 km is estimated to cost approximately Rs. 1,889 crore including the cost of land acquisition and pre-construction activities.