Pema seeks Centre’s attention on Arunachal road projects

KAZIRANGA (Assam), Dec 29: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has called for early sanction of funds for several road projects in the state, including the four-laning of the 31.50 km Itanagar-Banderdewa road (NH-415).
Attending a high level meeting to review national highways projects in the Northeastern states, which was presided over by Union Minister for Road, Transport & Highways (MoRTH), Nitin Gadkari, here on Friday, the chief minister revealed that only 10.90 kms of NH-415 have been sanctioned as Package ‘A’ during 2016-’17 and the work is in progress.
“The DPR for the remaining 20.60 kms has been submitted to the ministry as Package ‘B’ & ‘C’ during 2017-’18. The four-laning of NH-415 from Hollongi to Banderdewa, connecting state capital Itanagar with NH-52 in Assam, is of vital necessity,” Pema said.
He said piecemeal sanctioning of the project would involve considerable time to link the state capital with a four-lane highway.
The review meeting, which was organized by the MoRTH for all the CMs and PWD ministers of the Northeast region (including Sikkim), was aimed to review the status of ongoing highway projects undertaken in the region.
Pema enumerated the status of various highway projects undertaken in the state, and apprised Gadkari of the shortcomings and challenges faced by the state.
He informed that out of 2641.64 kms of national highway presently in various stages, the PWD has been assigned to construct a length of 419.88 kms. Out of this, 212.98 kms have been completed as on 30 November, 2017.
The CM requested the ministry to expedite sanctioning of the Lalpul-Manmao-Changlang and the Longding-Tissa-Khonsa roads for which the DPRs have already been submitted.
He, however, clarified that these two projects were terminated due to non-performance of the concessionaire, and that the DPR for the remaining work has been submitted to the ministry.
Referring to the 35 km Khonsa-Hukanjuri road (NH-315A), Pema submitted that the ministry has approved construction of only 9 kms during 2017-’18, while the major chunk of the road still remains to be sanctioned.
He sought Gadkari’s personal intervention in the matter.
The CM further informed that the feasibility report on the 2259.00 km Frontier Highway – based on reports from all the deputy commissioners of the districts concerned – has been submitted to the MHA and the MoRTH for further action. He also said that the work for preparing the DPR for the 699.50 km East-West Industrial Corridor has been awarded and the work is in progress.
The CM sought the ministry’s support in early funding for the project.
Pema requested the union minister to consider new projects (1355.80 kms) under Bharat-Mala which have already been submitted to the ministry.
“The proposed roads, ie, the Indo-Bhutan border road (175.00 kms), the Indo-China border road (999.00 kms, and the Indo-Myanmar border road (181.80 kms) are of strategic importance and would also boost border trade,” advocated Pema.
He further pleaded to the ministry to consider proposals under the SARDP-NE (Phase ‘B’) for 964.00 kms of roads, “for which the DPR is under submission.”
The chief minister sought assistance of Rs 113 crore to compensate for the losses incurred during the monsoon which damaged a large chunk of roads infrastructure in the state. He also requested for funds under the CRF to take up various projects in the state.
The CM asked the roads & highway ministry to immediately start work on the Potin-Pangin road, for which the entire stretch has been made free from encumbrances. He also urged the ministry to issue strict instructions to the NHIDCL to speed up the works undertaken by the CPSU. (PRO to CM)