India to Thailand road trip? Trilateral Highway through Myanmar almost ready

  • The 1,400-km long India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway is expected to become operational in another four years.
The India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway will run from Moreh in Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar. (Reuters)
The India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway will run from Moreh in Manipur to Mae Sot in Thailand via Myanmar.

There are very few highways in India that connect with neighbouring countries where you can drive to. The one that promises to be the longest is the upcoming India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway, for which construction is underway. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said the highway, which will connect India and Thailand through Myanmar, is 70 per cent complete. The highway is expected to be open for travellers in another three to four years.

The India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway is a 1,400-km long trans-nation highway to boost trade and tourism. It was first proposed by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and was approved at a ministerial-level meeting between India, Myanmar and Thailand in April 2002.

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The Centre had aimed to complete the highway by 2019. However, construction work has been delayed for several reasons. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari assured it will be completed soon. The Minister of Road Transport and Highways was quoted by news agency PTI saying, Around 70 per cent work of the project is completed." However, he did not reveal any timeline on when the highway will be ready and operational.

The India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway will start from Manipur in India from a place called Moreh near the border. It will end at Mae Sot city located at the Myanmar-Thailand border. The Imphal-Moreh section of the trilateral highway on Indian side is likely to be completed by the end of this year.

The entire highway is expected to be completed in another three to four years. Vijavat Isarabhakdi, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Thailand, recently said, “99 per cent of the four lane expressway which will be based in Thailand is already complete. Now, a lot depends on the Indian and the Myanmar governments on how fast the project can be completed."

Once completed, India also plans to extend the trilateral highway much deeper into SouthEast Asia connecting other countries like Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and other countries.

First Published Date: 03 Jul 2023, 10:25 AM IST

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