Mizoram to request centre & Bangladesh to expedite border trade
Newmai News Network
Aizawl | June 12
Mizoram is all set to come closer to the rest of India and the world, especially south-east Asian countries as the Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP), a bilateral project of the India and Myanmar governments to connect both the countries by sea route and road transport, is nearing completion.
Construction of the cross- border road (Mizoram sector) under the ambitious KMTT Project is scheduled to be completed and inaugurated by March next year, Mizoram Commerce and Industries minister Dr R Lalthangliana informed the state legislative assembly on June 12.
In a reply to questions from F Lalnunmawia and Vanlaltanpuia, both members of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF), Lalthangliana said at least 85.50 % of the project has been completed so far. Though the project is scheduled to be completed by March next year, it can get delayed a little bit due to compensation claim, he said.
KMTT Project, launched in 2008 by the erstwhile UPA government as part of its Look East (Now Act East) policy, when completed would first link the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata to Sittwe seaport in Myanmar across the Bay of Bengal, a distance of 539 km.
From Sittwe, the route will continue over river Kaladan to the western Myanmarese town of Paletwa, 158 km away. Paletwa will then be connected to the India-Myanmar border by a 110-km-long road. The international border will then be connected by road with southernmost Mizoram’s Lawngtlai town 87.18 km away where National Highway 54 passes by.
The construction of the road component in Mizoram side began in 2010 and is being worked by two companies – RDS Project Limited and Orisa based Atlanta ARSS (JV).
Of the 87.18 km road, 64.58 km has been blacktopped. 7 out of 8 bridges are under construction and 335 out 428 culverts have also been already completed, officials said.
Lalthangliana then said that the state government is making massive efforts to expedite opening of Indo-Bangladesh border trade at Kawrpuichhuah in the southern tip of Mizoram. He also said that state government had acquired a 224.99 bigha of land for construction of border trade centre at Kawrpuichhuah, of which 52.21 bigha was allocated to the Centre for establishing Integrated Check Post at the proposed border trade centre in 2010.
Intervening in the discussion on border trade with Bangladesh, Chief Minister Zoramthanga said the state government would make appeals to the Centre and Bangladesh government to expedite the opening of Indo-Bangladesh border trade proposed at the proposed Kawrpuichhuah border trade centre. He also said that he had raised the matter with the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce as well as with the Bangladeshi Prime Minister.