Trans-Arunachal Highway upgraded, is now NH-52B
The 1,850-km long Trans- Arunachal Highway has been declared a National Highway by the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport & Highways through a gazette notification. It will now be implemented by the ministry under the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme (SARDP) for the North-East.
"It is now NH-52B and while 100 kms of the highway will fall into Assam area, the rest of it will run through Arunachal Pradesh. The existing NH-52 is also single laned at present and will have to be upgraded. Still further, we will also be constructing connecting roads from the highway to all district headquarters in the state," said a senior official from the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways. In addition, a Rs 1,000- crore 60-km 'missing link' between NH-57 and NH-37 connecting Dibang and Lohit valley in the state has also been declared as an extension of the NH-37.
The Rs 10,000 crore project to provide a two-laned connectivity right through Arunachal Pradesh will stretch out between the strategic Tawang area to Mahadeopur ending near Dibrugarh in Assam. NH 52B will include 220 kms of the existing NH 52 stretch, and will also touch Bomdila, Nechipur, Seppa, Sagali, Ziro, Daporijo, Along, Pasighat, Roing Teju, Mahadeopur, Namchik, Changlang and Khonsa on the Nagaland border and Kanubari en route.
Feasibility studies for the highway are likely to be completed by next month, after which the ministry will take the project to the Cabinet for approval. "If things go on track, the bidding process should start by October this year and by May 2009 we should be able to award the project and start work by October 2009. The highway alignment near the insurgency-hit Changlang area on the Nagaland border is an area of concern but the rest of the highway should be constructed without any major hiccups," added the official.