India has awarded a contract for a US$176 million road upgrade project in Sagaing Region, in an announcement timed to coincide with Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi’s visit to Myanmar, media reports said.
The National Highway Authority of India awarded the tender on September 6 to a joint venture of the Punj Lloyd and Varaha Infra companies to upgrade the 120-kilometre road linking Kalewa and Yagyi, Indian media reported.
The upgrade is part of the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway project linking Moreh in India’s Manipur State with Mae Sot in Thailand.
The 1,360km highway is being backed by New Delhi to improve road transport connectivity between India and Southeast Asia.
The Border Roads Organisation of India has already completed building 130km of road between Moreh and Kalewa, reports said.
The 120km section between Kalewa and Yagyi will be upgraded to two lanes, with the contract funded by India’s Ministry of External Affairs also involving the construction and repair of more than a dozen bridges, Livemint.com business news website reported.
The project is expected to be completed within three years.
Livemint said the Indian government has made a $1.75 billion commitment in grants and aid to Myanmar, with which it shares a 1,600km border.
It said bilateral trade was worth $2.2 billion and Indian companies had invested $750 million in Myanmar.