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Conrad pitches new externally aided projects before Centre

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NEW DELHI, April 29: Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has pitched new externally aided projects under regional connectivity with NITI Aayog, stressing that it should support the state.
The CM told NITI Aayog that a number of externally aided projects with foreign countries are in different stages of implementation in the state.
More such projects should come to the hill state with the help of NITI Aayog, he added.
The Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) Initiative is a sub-regional architecture of countries in Eastern South Asia, a sub-region of South Asia. It meets through official representation of member states to formulate, implement and review quadrilateral agreements across areas such as water resources management, connectivity of power, transport, and infrastructure.
Northeastern states including Meghalaya have been engaging with the central government to take up with the neighbouring countries to facilitate economic activities and people-to-people contact across the borders. He gave example of initiatives such as the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal.
The detailed presentation also mentioned Hilli-Mahendraganj road and Phulkari bridge in Garo Hills.
Garo Hills has a second railway connection in addition to the Mendipathar- Dudhnoi railway line through Balurghat-Hili (West Bengal) to Mahendraganj-Tura (Meghalaya) through Gaibandha in Bangladesh.
The milestone railway track will be constructed to connect the two states through the neighbouring country at a cost of Rs 7,000 crore. Once completed, it will be an important project for South Dinajpur (West Bengal) and Garo Hills in Meghalaya.
The 19 km Dhubri – Phulbari Bridge is an under-construction bridge over the Brahmaputra river between Assam and Meghalaya. It is to be completed by 2026–27. This bridge, close to the Bangladesh border, will connect Dhubri with Phulbari and will fill in a missing link of National Highway 127B, connecting Dhubri by road to Tura, Nongstoin, and other towns in western and central Meghalaya.
The CM also held detailed discussions on the border trade between Meghalaya and neighbouirng Bangladesh, especially in Dalu and Dawki. Connected by the National Highway (NH) 44 (extension) and NH 40 (erstwhile Shillong Sylhet Road), Dawki is used for export of major items like coal, limestone, rawhide, boulder stone, food items, plastic furniture, geotextile sheets, tissue paper, laundry soap, PVC door and fire clay brick to Bangladesh.
Through the presentation, Sangma gave details of the 300 million growth corridor project already supported by NITI Aayog in the state. He reiterated that the Aayog should support new external aided projects for the state.

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