The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), in January 2018, issued the letter of award to Punj Lloyd and Varaha Infra Joint Venture for the construction of a two-lane highway in the Kalewa-Yargi section in Myanmar which is part of the proposed India-Myanmar-Thailand (IMT) trilateral highway. This highway is to connect Moreh in Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand through Myanmar.
About the Project
The 120-km long highway is estimated to cost Rs 1,177 crore. Myanmar, which is the only ASEAN country that shares a land border with India, has already confirmed NHAI of land availability.
India has already built the 132-km section, referred to as Friendship Highway, from the border town of Tamu (Sagaing Region in north-west Myanmar near the border with the eastern Indian state of Manipur) to Kalewa(Kale District in Sagaing).
The highway project involves construction of 69 bridges and approach roads on the Tamu-Kalewa section of the Trilateral Highway and Rih-Tedim Road in Myanmar (across Mizoram). For connecting the trilateral highway through the Zokhawthar-Rih border in Mizoram, a detailed project report (DPR) is underway to build the Rih-Tedim road in Myanmar. India has plans regarding extending road connectivity to the entire CLMV (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam) region. At present, Myanmar is connected by road only through Moreh in Manipur.
The project would enhance bilateral trade and people to people contacts and contribute to the development of the north-east region of India.
To improve both road and rail connectivity to the north-eastern states, the government has rolled-out multi-billion dollar projects including a DPR launched to build a new road-cum-rail bridge at Dhubri near the Bengal-Assam border, which will pave way for easy connectivity to the Garo Hills in Meghalaya and the neighboring Northern Bangladeshi districts. A preliminary survey has been initiated for rail connectivity parallel to the trilateral Highway in which Japan has shown interest.