Northeast's First Four-Lane Road To be Partially Operational By December End
The Dimapur-Kohima Road which is the first four-lane road in the northeast region, is set to be partially operational in December this year.
A 14.93-km stretch of the project, in the state of Nagaland, will be completed this year. This was informed by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari through a series of tweets.
The 4 laning of Dimapur-Kohima section on NH 29 was announced by then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in October 2003.
The project announced under the 'Special Accelerated Road Development Programme in North East (SARDP-NE)' has been entrusted to the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL).
Announced to be the first four-lane road in the northeast region, the project will not only provide better connectivity between Nagaland and Manipur but also reduce the travel time to a great extent.
The work of the four-lane road, divided into packages I, II, and III, began in 2016.
While Package-I (14.935 km) and Package-II (13.715 km) are almost completed, Package-III (14.21km) is nowhere near completion.
The original completion deadline for 4-laning the Dimapur-Kohima highway was September 2019.
However, due to variety of reasons, the project has missed several deadlines, leading to both political consternation and judicial intervention.
The Kohima Bench of Guwahati High Court, passed strict orders for implementation of the project, based on a public interest Litigation (PIL) filed in May 2022.
As per data, the Package-I was awarded at the cost of Rs 387 crore under Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) mode.
The package was scheduled to be completed by September 2019, but has been granted two-time extensions and will now be completed by December 2022.
Likewise, for Package-II, the total amount of work order was Rs 339.55 crore.
While the work started in August 2016 and was scheduled to complete in August 2019, it was granted one-time extension and is now targeted to be finished by December 2022.
As for Package-III, the total amount of the work order was Rs 111.19 crore. The appointed date of the package was 1 September 2021, and the scheduled completion date was 31 August 2022, it has now been pushed to 31 January 2023.
However, analysis of documents on the NHIDCL’s project archives shows that while Package-I and II will be able to meet the deadline, the stretch under Package-III will miss the target date.
According to a status update on 30 September 2022 by NHIDCL, the cumulative physical progresses of work are 96.71 per cent, 97.25 per cent and 28.06 per cent for Package I, II and III, respectively.
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