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Difficult terrain in NE poses challenge to development: Govt

Difficult terrain, geographical location and short working season pose a challenge to carry out development work and maintain communication links in the Northeast, Union Minister Jitendra Singh said on Thursday.

"Difficult and hilly terrain, geographical location and short working season of the northeastern region pose a challenge to development of optimal infrastructure and communication links within the region and with the rest of the country," he said in Rajya Sabha.

Singh, Minister for Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), said the infrastructuralbottlenecks include inadequate road and railway connectivity, power transmission and distribution, telecom connectivity and absence of airports in the region. He said Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, under its Special Accelerated Road Development Programme North East (SARDP-NE), out of 1,427 kms, 989 kms of roads have been completed during the last three years and the current year.

Apart from the development under SARDP-NE, about 637 km length of national highways (NHs) covered under NHDP Phases - I and II in Assam are being improved to four-lane standard as part of East-West Corridor. Singh, replying to a written question, said that works in about 597 kms have been completed so far. Also, improvement of NH-44 from Jowai to Ratacherra (length 104 km) in Meghalaya to two-lane with paved shoulder is in progress by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).

Ministry of Railways has sanctioned two new rail doubling projects totalling 283 kms in the region in the last three years.
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