India-Myanmar-Thailand highway to be ready in 3 years; work starts

Road building in progress in NE India

The Indian government has awarded all the contracts under the India-Myanmar-Thailand highway over the last three months and the highway is likely to be ready in three years, the external affairs ministry said.

“Government of India is implementing two projects as part of Trilateral Highway between India, Myanmar and Thailand. These are construction of 69 bridges on the Tamu-Kyigone-Kalewa section and upgradation of 120.74 km road on the Kalewa-Yargi section in Myanmar,” said Gen VK Singh, junior minister for external affairs.

The upgradation of the Kalewa-Yargi section in Myanmar is the only big highway construction that India will be engaged in as part of the project. The 121-km highway will be upgraded to two lanes at a cost of Rs 1,200 cr.

The highway will stretch from Moreh in Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar. There is also a plan to extend it to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Once the highway is ready, it will be possible to drive from Manipur to Thailand. Many Indians travel to Thailand for tourism, though Myanmar is not among the top destinations for Indian tourists. It will also facilitate the movement of trucks.

To enable smooth vehicular movement, the three countries are also negotiating a ‘motor vehicles agreement’ involving the recognition of each others’ drivers’ licenses.

“Myanmar has conveyed that it would proceed with this Agreement once it has comprehensively reviewed the implementation of similar arrangements it has with other countries,” VK Singh said about the motor vehicles agreement.

in July approved a Rs1,630 crore road project for upgradation and widening of the 65-km road stretch between Imphal and Moreh in Manipur.

Besides the above, India is also working on roads to connect Aizawl in Mizoram with Kaladan in Myanmar.