Thursday, July 05, 2007


GANGTOK: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will fund major renovation and improvement of roads in the State.
This is a part of the North Eastern State Roads Investment Project (NESRIP) of the ADB initiative in collaboration with Ministry of DoNER for urban development in the North Eastern Region.
A meeting to chalk out a plan for the NESRIP between the representatives of ADB and the State Government was held here today which was presided over by the Chief Secretary, ND Chingappa. Secretary, Roads & Bridges Department, was also present in the meeting. The R&B Department is the Implementing Agency of this project in the State.
The meeting was also attended by Additional Chief Secretary; Special secretary, Planning and Development and other senior officials from the R&B Department. Five officials from ADB were part of the Identification Mission team.
This meeting was a part of the Identification Mission Programme, which will carry out consultations and capacity building initiatives and complete the preliminary project design and define the Detailed Project Preparation Plan of the NESRIP. Today’s meeting was part of this consultation process.
In the first phase of the Project, 3 roads has identified for improvement in Sikkim which are Melli-Nayabazar Road and Nayabazar-Namchi Road in South District and Sang-Rumtek Road in East District at an estimated cost of Rs. 105.00 crores.
The NESRIP will be a 100 percent centrally sponsored scheme (CSS). The ADB will finance up to 70 % of the project cost. While the central assistance is to finance cost of capital investment, the State governments will bear the expenses toward land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation, environmental mitigation measures and road maintenance.
Accordingly, the total estimated cost of the Investment Programme is $428.7 million of which ADB financing is up to $300 million (70 %).
During the meeting, several problems relating to the proposed roads project were placed by the R&B Department before the ADB Identification Mission team, which were thoroughly discussed and remedies and options also suggested.
It was recommended by the R&B Department that the ADB initiate double lane road for Melli-Naya Bazar Road and Naya Bazar-Namchi and not confine to intermediate lane as had been earlier suggested.
The cost of afforestation land compensation, rehabilitation & resettlement plan should be included in the detailed project report, the R&B suggested.
The Department also suggested that during the survey, stress may be laid on actual requirement of protection works and not on approximation. The need for protection works in a hilly terrain and landslide prone area like Sikkim was stressed upon during the meeting.
It is suggested that in order to avoid environmental degradation through the throwing of mud and debris on the valley side, provision may be kept for throwing them in lorries at a pre-defined dump site which can be later used purposefully. It was stated that the State Forest Department does not allow indiscriminate dumping of such debris and notifies such dumping areas.
The restricted use of explosives for blasting of rocks was also recommended by making alternative arrangements for cutting into the rocky slopes.
The NESRIP’s implication to the State’s finance, fund flow and disbursement arrangements were also discussed in the meeting.