Through your esteemed daily, I would like to request Governor Arunachal Pradesh to expedite giving assent to bills passed in the Legislative Assembly. Several bills were debated and passed in the august hall of Legislative Assembly but only one bill passed during October 2017 has been given assent i.e creation of Kamle District only. Other bills are lying without given assent as on date.
One of the important bill was Arunachal Pradesh State Road (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015 which has been passed in same sitting but still awaiting assent. Due to absence of such Act, roads in our State is still not categorised like State Highways, Major District Roads, Other District Roads, Village roads, Rural roads except National Highways which are funded by Ministry of Road, Transport & Highways, Govt of India.
As per this Act, SH, MDR, ODR have been assigned to State PWD to identify, construct, maintaining such categorised road whereas VR and RR have been assigned to State RWD. Duplicity of roads data in State will be eliminated once the bill is given assent and implemented. At present, almost all works department are taking up road projects violating business allocation rules of State Govt. Owing to multiple road project implementing agencies, there is no proper recording mechanism amongst the various implementing agencies. Road data available is not realistic as numbers of roads are overlapping under various department of State Govt.
As new financial year has begun, the policy related to roads development and its prioritization will be done as per this bill. The need of hour is early assent of bill as we are already late as almost six months have lapsed without getting assent of Hon’ble Governor. Almost other NE States have their own State’s road Act like Nagaland Highway Act, 1967, Manipur Highways Act, 1979, Mizoram Highways Act, 2002 and Assam Regulation of Road Development & Transport Act, 2010 but our State is yet to see it.
As per data available online in PMGSY website, there are 3880 habitations in the State of Arunachal Pradesh as per the 2001 census.
Out of 3880 habitations, 1477 habitations road connectivity projects have been sanctioned and connectivity to 881 habitations have been achieved and the rest works are under various stages of construction which will atleast take 5 to 6 years to complete. There is no clear vision of State Govt. to connect these remaining 2403 habitations which are not qualified for getting connectivity road under PMGSY due to less than 250 population criteria or even not eligible under cluster of villages criteria. Should these villages wait till their population explode to minimum requirement of 250 Nos? We need to evolve policy to provide road connectivity to these unconnected habitations. We can plan our little available resources to get connectivity to these habitations from RIDF(Rural Infrastructure Development Fund) of NABARD, NEC, etc.
Arunachal Pradesh State Road (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2015 was for systematic, effective planning and development of State roads in the State of Arunachal Pradesh. The Act will enable prioritization of investment in road development. We have wasted lots of fund in constructing retaining wall only in whole of State which we could have used in planned manner had we enacted this Act. Still we can start afresh with this Act in place for better prioritization and investment of resources from Central Govt, State Govt and foreign aid like World Bank, Asian Development Bank, JICA etc.