India plans to connect Bhutan via Int’l highway

India plans to connect Bhutan via Int’l highway

SAM Staff,
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Having failed to take the regional road connectivity plan forward as expected, India is drawing another plan to connect Assam with Bhutan by constructing a new International highway.
In November this year, the upper house of the Bhutanese parliament National Council (NC) refused to ratify the regional motor vehicle agreement involving Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN). The agreement was an initiative pushed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to boost road connectivity and trade among the participating countries.
The agreement, signed in Bhutan’s capital Thimpu in July 2015, will become operational only when all the four countries ratify it. India, Bangladesh and Nepal have already ratified the pact.
The Bhutanese NC was of the views that the regional road connectivity would create an unrestrained influx of vehicles and people which could dilute Bhutan’s culture and religion and possibly give rise to the crime rate in the region.
However, Indian media reported on Thursday that the Assam government is now in talks with the concerned Union Ministry to draw a roadmap for connecting India with Bhutan by constructing an international highway via BTAD [Bodoland Territorial Area Districts] area of the state.
Two rounds of talks have already been held between the state government officials and the Union Ministry in this regard, said a report by the Shillong Times, a local English daily of Assam.
On Wednesday, during a foundation stone laying program for a bridge over Bharola River the state chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that the proposed highway would improve trade and commerce between the two nations.
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