ITANAGAR, Oct 23: Chief Minister Pema Khandu expressed concern over the inordinate delay in completion of the road stretch between Bhalukpong to Bomdila during a meeting with Chief Engineer K P Purushothaman of Project Vartak, Border Roads Organization (BRO) on Monday morning.
The Chief Engineer had called on the Chief Minister to discuss the status of roads being constructed by BRO in western Arunachal Pradesh, with focus around the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang road, technically referred as the BCT road, which is the lifeline of particularly West Kameng and Tawang districts.
Pema urged the BRO to expedite the work and offered all cooperation from the state government side.
The Balipara-Charduar-Tawang Road project has been a cause of public ire as the people feel that BRO has not taken the project seriously and has taken too long a time to complete the strategically important project. Reportedly, topography and climate are making the task of BRO even more difficult.
The BCT road with a total length 317.52 km in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh is under improvement to National Highway Double Lane (NHDL) specifications. As of date, 56.21 percent progress has been made on the road.
When Pema suggested working night shifts, the BRO official assured that plans are afoot on that line.
He, however, lamented that continuous rainfall, which is stretching beyond the season, is hampering ongoing works, besides fund and machine constraints.
The Chief Engineer though assured that a considerable difference will be visible on the stretch after one month.
Purushothaman further informed that BCT includes three bypasses – Bomdila bypass, Dirang bypass and Jung bypass. While the works are on for construction of the Bomdila bypass, the other two bypasses are still at the survey stage.
Besides the bypasses, two tunnels are in the project that will allow commuters bypass the snow-covered Sela Pass and save hours of journey to Tawang. The total length of the tunnels will be 2.215 kms with approach roads of 9.92 kms. DPR is being framed for the Rs 581.13 crore project.
According to the Vartak Chief Engineer, BCT will be completed by 2021, except for the tunnels, which may take another couple of years. For the time till surfacing of the Bhalukpong-Bomdila stretch, he suggested commuters to be sensitized on using the Orang-Kalaktang road for travelling to Tawang.
On pending issues like land acquisition for construction of roads, Pema sought a detailed list from the BRO and assured to take these up with the local administrations.
Meanwhile, Pema advised the BRO not to change the indigenous nomenclatures of places, which has been a trend in the recent past. He said change of original nomenclatures of places, sites, natural landscapes is against the sentiments of the local populace, who pride in their traditions and culture.
The meeting was also attended by RWD Parliamentary Secretary and local MLA from Tawang district Jambey Tashi. (PRO, CMO)