GUWAHATI, April 7: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) recently signed an agreement with the Union government in New Delhi to provide 67,170 million Japanese Yen (approximately Rs 4,000 crore) for Phase I of the North East Road Network Connectivity Improvement Project.
JICA is a bilateral donor agency. The agreement was signed between JICA India Office chief representative Takema Sakamoto and joint secretary of the department of economic affairs of the Union ministry of finance, S Selvakumar.
Official Development Assistance Loan (ODA) is provided at a concessional 1.4% interest rate for project activities and 0.01% interest rate for consulting services and offers a 30-year period of repayment (including 10 years of grace period).
The assistance is for improving connectivity in the northeast by constructing national highways and bridges.
Sakamoto said the project will contribute towards socio-economic development and regional connectivity. Under the project, he said modern slope protection technologies will be used to address the problem of landslides in the northeast.
“The region needs high quality road infrastructure as the region is envisaged as the gateway to South East Asia,” Sakamoto said.
Under Phase I of the project, improvement of NH-54 and NH-51 in Mizoram and Meghalaya will be the focus.
NH-54 is located in central Mizoram and the stretch of the targeted section of NH-54 is from Aizawl to Tuipang in Mizoram stretching to 350km. The improvement of NH-54 would enhance the connectivity of the Kaladan Multi Modal Transport Corridor, which connects the northeastern states with the rest of India through Myanmar by roads, inland water transport and marine transport.
NH-51 is located in the western part of Meghalaya. The stretch of the targeted section of NH-51 is from Tura to Dalu in Meghalaya with a length of approximately 50km, which connects the Bangladesh border.