India plans $252m upgrade to road link with Myanmar

The Indian cabinet has approved a multi-million dollar upgrade to a highway in Manipur that will improve transport links to Myanmar and Southeast Asia, the Hindustan Times reported.

The upgrade involves a 65-kilometre section of highway linking the Manipur State capital, Imphal to the border town of Moreh, opposite Tamu in Sagaing Region.

The project is estimated to cost about US$252 million (K346 billion).

India’s Road Transport and Highways Minister, Mr Nitin Gadkari, told reporters the upgrade would reduce the travel time between Imphal and Moreh from three-and-a-half hours to one-hour and 45 minutes.

“The project is of international importance as it would make it possible to travel from India to Myanmar and even Bangkok by road,” Gadkari said, the Hindustan Times reported on July 12.

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As well as boosting international trade and business, the upgrade would also be important for security and as well contributing to development in India’s northeast, which has a poor road network, Gadkari said.

He said road infrastructure projects in India’s northeast were a priority of the Bharatiya Janata Party government headed by Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi.

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