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BUDGET 2021-22: Centre awards 1300 km of roads to poll-bound Assam

NEW DELHI: The Centre today awarded 1300 km of roads to Assam as part of a proposed road infrastructure development project in poll-bound states.

Presenting the Union Budget 2021-22, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced road infrastructure plan for four states – Assam, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Kerala — where elections are due this year.

Giving a breakup of the highway projects, Sitharaman said Assam, will see 1,300 km roads being constructed at a cost of Rs 3,4000 crore over the next three years.

Sitharaman earlier said national highway works worth Rs 19,000 crore was currently in progress in Assam. 

She was, however, not specific if the proposed road would be the 1300 km express highways on both banks of the Brahmaputra. The Congress has made it an issue of its electioneering against the BJP in Assam.

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Tamil Nadu will get the lion’s share of Rs 1.03 lakh crore for 3,500 km of roads, Kerala will be entitled to Rs 65,000 crore for 1,500 km of roads and West Bengal will get Rs 95,000 crore for 675 km road.

“Over 13,000 km of roads at a cost of Rs 3.3 lakh crore has already been awarded under Rs 5.35 lakh crore Bharatmala project of which 3,800 km have been constructed. By March 2022 we’d be awarding another 8,500 and complete an additional 11,000 km of National Highway Corridor,” Sitharaman said in her budget speech. For the first time in the Indian Parliament, Sitharaman today read out the Union Budget speech from a tablet instead of conventional paper document standing in the second row of the Treasury Benches.

The presentation of Budget, however, could not deter a few opposition MPs from protesting against the three contentious farm laws. Harsimrat Kaur Badal of Shiromani Akali Dal, Bhagwant Mann of Aam Aadmi Party and Hanuman Beniwal of Rashtriya Loktantrik Party stood at the aisles of the Lok Sabha by holding placards demanding the Centre to take back the “black” laws.

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