JICA pledges Rs 57 billion for highway development in NER

The Japan International Cooperation Agency has pledged overseas development assistance of about Rs 57 billion for the development of highways in the north-eastern region. The project involves widening and upgrading roads to two lanes, with paved shoulders, as well as geometric improvements of National Highway (NH)-54 in Mizoram and NH-51 in Meghalaya. According to the terms of the loan, repayment of the principal will be in 20 years (after a disbursement period of 10 years). The government has taken up various road improvement projects under the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North East for better connectivity in the region. In order to expedite road construction, the government has set up National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited to augment the capacity of the agencies involved in the development and maintenance of national highways in the region. Further, the ministry has adopted the engineering, procurement and construction mode of awarding contracts for major national highway development works in the region, whereunder contractors are required to complete the work at a fixed cost and within a stipulated time frame.