Aizawl: Construction of a 87.18-km-long cross-border road under the ambitious Kaladan Multi Modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP), that will link south Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district with Myanmar is making a good head way and nearing completion, an official said.
Lalhumhima, Executive Engineer in the state PWD Multi Modal Project division, who monitored the project said that 81.12 per cent of physical work has been completed and massive effort is being taken to complete the whole project by December this year.
He said that blacktopping of 64.58 km as well as formation cutting of 85.41 km out of 87.18 km long road have been already completed.
The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project was launched in April, 2008 by the UPA government as part of its ‘Look East’ (now Act East) policy after the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), entered into a framework agreement with the government of Myanmar.
It is being launched under Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North Eastern Region (A) scheme of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). The original estimate cost of the project was Rs 575.69 crore and was initially scheduled to be completed by 2014.
With the construction of MoRTH rest house, pucca road side drain, Bungtlang lodges and retaining wall etc the original estimate has been revised to Rs. 1011.52 crore.
The construction of 87.18-km-long road component in Mizoram side began in 2010 and is being worked by two companies — RDS Project Limited and Orisa based Atlanta ARSS (JV).
The road is designed to be a national highway double lanes standard.
Lalhumhima said that the expand (width) of the road, though designed to be only 12 m, is 13.50m wide including extra widening area and the extent of pavement is 7.50 m against the original estimate of 7 m.
He said that there will be eight bridges and 428 culverts in the 87.18-km-long road, of which 335 culverts have been completed so far. Barring one, seven bridges are under construction, he added.
Officials of state information and public relations department and a group of media from Siaha and Lawngtlai paid a visit to the project site and inspected the ongoing construction on Friday.
Engineers, who monitored the project, told the visiting media that construction works had to be halted for about 390 days resulting in delay of the project due to strike and road block called by locals over compensation claim.
They also said that the construction of road could not be expedited due to delay in construction of bridges because the bridge designs based on MoRTH requirement sent to IIT Guwahati in 2015 were granted ‘fit for construction’ in 2017 only.
The cross-border road, once completed, will ease connectivity between India and Myanmar and will boost border trade in the region.