Aizawl: Union Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping, Chemicals and Fertilizers Mankush L. Mandaviya on Friday laid emphasis on the need for improvement of road connectivity for development of the country.
“Good roads lead to a good speed, and good speed leads to progress. Our country desperately needs good road infrastructure if it wants to become a developed country,” the minister said while addressing a two-day mid-term council meeting of Indian Road Congress (IRC) at Mizoram University campus here on late Friday evening.
Central Government gives importance to the needs of the region and promised a sanction of Rs 6000 crores for the construction of roads between Silchar to Tuipang, he said.
The minister also said that India also needs an initiative like the bullet train and multi-lanes highway.
Mandaviya, who is on his second visit to Mizoram said he sees great opportunity of organic farming in the state if proper road network is developed to connect farmers and markets.
He said Mizoram has great potentiality of becoming an organic state like Sikkim.
Stressing on the need for eradication of poverty in the country, he said there is hunger in our country and there is poverty everywhere and effort should be taken to eradicate this.
215th mid-term council meeting of IRC was held at Mizoram University at Tanhril, near Aizawl on Friday and Saturday where a host of delegates from different parts of the country flocked to grace the meeting. This was the third time Mizoram has been hosting the council meeting, the previous editions having been held in 1997 and 2008, respectively. The event was addressed by state PWD minister Lal Thanzara on Friday as well.
Speaking on the occasion, Lal Thanzara underlined about the various challenges that the state PWD has been facing over the years as far as highway development works are concerned.
He said that work could not be expedited due to peculiar soil structure coupled with heavy rains for the most part of the year.
“Ensuring the quality and maintenance of highway using modern technology is one of the obvious issues confronting the state,” he said.
He expressed hope that expertise of IRC will play a vital role in addressing these specific issues.
According to the minister, Mizoram has some 800 odd villages which are being connected through PMGSY. Some of the significant state highways are eligible for declaration to National Highway for better management, he added.
He also lauded IRC for leaving impressive food prints in construction and maintenance of roads and highway in the country ever since its inception in 1934.
The event was attended by home minister R. Lalzirliana, finance minister Lalsawta, transport minister John Rotluangliana, IRC president Krishna Reddy and many other officials including Manoj Kumar, Director General (Roads) and Special Secretary, Govt of India and SK Nirmal, secretary general IRC.
Reddy also drew attention to the great loss of life and property that occurs every year in road accidents throughout the country. He advised road engineers to visit accident sites and take remedial actions, and he said that from now onwards pedestrian safety will be included in the design phase of projects itself instead of being treated as an addition to the post-production stage.