The landmark development was witnessed on 5th October 2016 by the citizens of Arunachal Pradesh regarding the long pending four Lane NH 415 road project from Itanagar to Banderdewa measuring 31.5 Km as announced by the Union Minister, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in presence of the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh and the public of the state.
It was directed to the state government and the NHIDCL to continuously do to the repair and maintenance of the said road even during the construction of the highway. The minister also spelled out that the central government in the ministry had planned to include advanced technologies to make roads more durable by doing away with the bitumen and replacing by concrete systems.
With this development, it was assumed that the people of our state would see their dreams come true at least in their life time. The PM package was delayed for a decade or so for the reasons only known to the government at the centre and may be the state government too.
Fortunately, the Deputy Chief Minister, Arunachal Pradesh inaugurated the start of the project from Chandranagar to Papu Nallah (Package-A) with a length of 10.90 Km on 21st September 2017.
The state government appealed the people to cooperate with traffic diversion issues and ROW clearances. The District Administration, PWD (Highway) and other stakeholders were supposed to get involved in the process of eviction and timely finishing the project package A which were of course carried out.
Modern technology were supposed to be adopted in seeing the required world class construction with proper plans on designing aimed at decreasing the maintenance cost, to do away with unnecessary recurring expenses in future. The process of eviction of structures whether legal or illegal was also started within RoW of NH-415.
It was later formalised and the EPC contractor M/S T.K. Engineering Consortium Pvt. Ltd. was awarded the work for execution through Public Works Department, Govt of Arunachal Pradesh with a estimated cost of Rs. 196.16 crore for the Phase A to be completed in three years.
Now in seeing the snail phase of the construction and lackadaisical attitude of the centre, the state government and the executing agency the following pertinent questions are dire to be asked in seeking possible answers;
1. Does Public Works Department (PWD) exist in Arunachal Pradesh?
2.Do we have Engineers working in this department?
3. What are the responsibilities of PWD (Highways) and the issue of maintenance works?
4. Are the government department and the executing agency following the National Highway Act 1956 provisions?
5. Which department has the responsibility of maintenance of the roads in and around the capital complex?
6. Is T. K. Engineering Consortium Pvt. Ltd. the expediting agency of the NH 415 FourLane Highway or is it busy in its multibillion projects being carried out all over the country?
7. Who are the people behind the litigation if any against the expediting agency of the highway under construction? Are they worried about the present plight of the under constructed high way?
8. Does the District Administration worry about the pitiable condition of the roads here?
9. Or for that matter are we common citizens concerned about the condition of our roads or are we in the state of taking things casually with chalega attitude?
10. Are we happy only complaining on the issue and writing about it on Facebook and WhatsApp expecting likes and comments and not finding any solutions!
11. Can we Civil Society initiate anything on the highway menace in the capital or what are the possibilities?
Department of Sociology
Rajiv Gandhi University