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India approves $ 1 billion connectivity project across nations


India has approved an ambitious $1.04-billion project for constructing and upgrading 558 km of roads to link it with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal and ease the movement of passengers and cargo, as part of the larger effort to increase inter-regional trade by 60 per cent. 
•    The new project has been given an official nod by India's Department of Economic Affairs with 50 per cent funding from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), officials told IANS, adding that the road project will cover West Bengal and Manipur on the Indian side, as of now. 
•    The project as per a list accessed by IANS includes, among others, an upgrade of the 122km Siliguri-Mirik-Darjeeling ($15 million) and the widening of the 60-km National Highway-35 (Kolkata-Bangaon) on the border with Bangladesh ($130 million). 
•    It also includes a new 123-km road to connect with Diamond harbour, on the outskirts of Kolkata, at a cost of $250 million. 

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