APCC alleges misappropriation of TAH funds by BJP govt

ITANAGAR, Jun 25: The Congress Party in the state on Monday alleged that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was involved in embezzlement of huge amount of public fund in the name of paying compensation for construction of the Trans-Arunachal Highway (TAH).
The party also demanded that the government should come out clean by instituting an enquiry by a retired High Court judge.
Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, who also holds the PWD portfolio, said his department has nothing to do with it.
The Congress alleged that an amount of Rs 245 crore was misused in the name of paying compensation to the land owners in two stretches of the TAH by the government in connivance with the district administration.
“There are reports that an amount of Rs 47 crore was paid as compensation to the land owners in the stretch of TAH between Joram and Koloriang in Kra Daadi and Kurung Kumey districts and names of non-tribals also figured in the list which has raised doubts in the minds of the genuine land owners of the districts,” Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Takam Sanjoy said while speaking to reporters here.
Sanjoy also alleged that an amount of Rs 198 crore was also misappropriated by the government while paying compensation to land owners of Yazali-Ziro-Raga stretch of the highway and demanded a proper investigation.
The Congress further criticised the state government for enhancing the rate of land revenue from existing Rs 1 to Rs 600 per square meter for normal land and from Rs 2 to Rs 800 for commercial land.
Stating that the Arunachal Pradesh (Land Settlement and Records) (Amendment) Act 2018 which was passed by the state Assembly would have a detrimental effect on the people of the state, Sanjoy made it clear that the Congress completely rejects and opposes the new rates.
He also asked the government to revise it before the elections due next year.
The party also demanded that the state government should pay compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the relatives of the five labourers from Assam, who were killed after a retaining wall of an under-construction building collapsed over their barrack at Donyi Colony here Sunday morning.
Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, while reacting to the allegations made by the Congress, said that he had initiated a meeting with five MLAs of the affected districts last year along with the respective deputy commissioners, and fixed the compensation amount at 198 crore for the Potin-Yazali-Ziro-Raga-Panging stretch of the TAH, which was high earlier and accordingly the Centre sanctioned the amount.
“Distribution of compensation to the affected land owners is with the land management department and the concerned district administrations. My department has nothing to do with it,” Mein said.
On the allegations of misuse of compensation fund, the deputy chief minister informed that the government had already constituted a committee to find out the anomalies in paying compensation and is waiting for the final report.
“Once the report is available, the government will take action accordingly,” he added.
Sanjoy further claimed that the BJP is encroaching upon the tennis court in Indira Gandhi Park for establishment of its office, and demanded that the district administration cancel the allotment.
“IG Park is the only place in the capital for recreational purposes. It is also the only designated place where several organisations come to express their sentiments over a burning issue”, he added and opposed the allotment. (PTI)