India to seek changes in two Asian Highways

February 14th, 2008 - 6:36 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) India Thursday decided to propose to a UN agency to extend two Asian Highways (AH) for better connectivity with Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

The union cabinet Thursday approved a proposal of the surface transport ministry to incorporate Phulbari between Banglabandha and Siliguri on the AH-2 and provide link to Bhutan by extending the AH-48 from “Thimphu-Phuentsholing-Jaigaon-Hasimara-Jalpaigui-Phulbari” in place of “Phuentsholing - Border of India”, as indicated now.

The Indian government will now make a proposal to the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific of the United Nations (UNESCAP).

The transport ministry has sought that “UNESCAP should make the necessary amendments in its route maps to include these two roads as extensions of AH-2 and AH-48 in the List of Asian Highway Routes of the Inter-Governmental Agreement on the Asian Highway Network, for consideration by the Working Group on the Asian Highway,” said Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi.

He described this as “a step that would help increase trade and tourism with neighbours Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan”.

Under this proposal, the AH-2 Bangalabandha-Siliguri Kakarbhitta road between India and Bangladesh should go via Phulbari so that it should be redefined as “… Banglabandha-Phulbari-Siliguri-Kakarbhitta”.

Similarly, the link to Bhutan is proposed to be provided by extending AH-48 from “Thimphu-Phuentsholing-Jaigaon-Hasimara-Jalpaigui-Phulbari” in place of “Phuentsholing - Border of India”, as it exists now, and this may consequently connect with AH-2 at Phulbari in India.

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