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The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) is ready to build the historic Stilwell Road even inside Myanmar “provided they were asked by the Ministry External Affairs.”

Disclosing this to this correspondent, Sambhu Singh, Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said on Wednesday that the two lane road (part of Stilwell Road) up to Myanmar has already been built up.

“Part of Stilwell Road has been built up to Myanmar border. It’s a like a two lane highway. However, construction of road beyond Myanmar border is a matter of discussion of the Ministry of External Affairs. If they (the MEA) want us to go beyond border and inside Myanmar, we will go and build the road,” said Singh.

This strategic road, which could link South East Asian nations, has been given a momentum under the Government of India’s ‘Act East’ policy.

The Stilwell Road from Ledo in India to Kunming in China via Myanmar connecting the Burma Road beyond Bhamo was built by allied forces and it was in use from December 1942 to May 1945 for military operation against the Japanese forces in North Burma and since then it was left in bad shape.

“If the road is being built it will further boost the existing relation between India and its neighbouring countries,” said Singh.

Under India’s Act East policy, lots of initiatives have been taken up for better connectivity with India’s neighbouring countries.

Singh said that inside Northeast, roads have been built up which are reaching to close to the border. “Our roads will reach to the last mile along the border and lots of new projects are in pipeline,” said Singh.

The Act East policy is being emphasised upon. The trilateral highway between India, Myanmar and Thailand is also an important area. Earlier India has built 150 km road between More in Manipur to Tamu and Kelimio in Myanmar.

“Kelimio to Yaho road is there. Work in Yaho and Mio road will start soon. Works have already begun in certain parts. We are also replacing the bridges inside Myanmar,” said Singh.

There are near about 369 bridges which will be rebuilt in Myanmar.

Rajiv Roy

Rajiv Roy is Northeast Now Correspondent in New Delhi. He can be reached at:

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