Union minister Nitin Gadkari.

The Centre will soon take up additional highway projects worth Rs 16,023 crore in Manipur, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said.

Gadkari said this on Monday laying the foundation stones 13 highway projects of Rs 3,000-crore in Manipur via video conferencing.

The road transport, highways minister promised to also expedite the ongoing Rs 2,250-crore highway works in the state and termed it as his “priority”.

The virtual ceremony was attended by Minister of State for the Development of North Eastern Region Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways V K Singh, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Manipur cabinet ministers, among others.

Urging Manipur to be the growth engine for the northeastern region, Gadkari said, “It can contribute significantly to the growth of the country… We are committed to its development. Laying a network of good highways will pave the way for its development.

“Besides, it (Manipur) should focus on promoting local artisans and endeavour to promote MSMEs,” he said.

“Projects worth Rs 16,023 crore will be awarded soon for highway works of 874.5 km. Projects worth Rs 2,250 crore are already underway in the state which will also be expedited,” Gadkari said.

He also said a good beginning has been done and in the coming days, new projects will be taken up.

These include a 106.5-km four-lane project between Kohima and Imphal at Rs 2,663 crore, a 220-km four-lane project on a stretch of NH-37 from Imphal to Jiraban at Rs 5,425 crore, and a 118-km two-lane project on NH-129A at Rs 1,765 crore.

The minister added that these projects will be launched soon and he is confident that these will play an important role in developing Manipur.

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