AAPSU, capital DA tussle over NH four-laning

Staff Reporter
ITANAGAR, Sep 2: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) on Sunday stepped into the controversial National Highway four-laning issue by demanding that the state’s special investigation cell (SIC) conduct investigation against the capital district administration for not sticking to rules.
Addressing a press conference at the press club here, AAPSU convenor Tatung Taga claimed that even after huge compensation amounts were paid against many structures from Chandranagar to Papu Nallah, several structures are yet to be dismantled.
Also demanding that the state government, particularly the authority concerned, have the structures demolished, the union further alleged that the DA issued compensation money against nonexistent agriculture and horticulture fields and forest items beyond the right of way (RoW) in between Itanagar and Naharlagun.
Informing that an AAPSU team had surveyed the four-laning work from Chandranagar to Papu Nallah tri-junction on 25 August, the union said the team found that the specified 30 metres within the township area and 40 metres in open spaces were not maintained on the stretch, in violation of the concept of four-laning.
However, Capital Complex Deputy Commissioner Prince Dhawan said all the un-demolished structures on the RoW would be demolished as and when the PWD highway, the PHE or the power department needs the space, “for which relevant orders have already been passed.”
The PWD highways division in a letter to the DC in May had refused to take over the structures, stating that the required land for construction of the road had been acquired.
The DC’s office issued a statement saying, “All compensation was assessed by earlier DC Sandeep Kumar Singh, and the district administration (DA) under the present DC had only disbursed it without any change.”
The DA handed over the entire land strip demanded by PWD highways “and they have not demanded any further land,” the statement read.
All procurement was done through GeM and open tender and with approval of the government, it read. “This is the reason today you are able to see the IMC vehicles and cleanliness activities in ICC.”
The DC said the same allegation being levelled by different sets of people within a time span of two days “shows that someone is targeting personally with the same issues. The compensation was disbursed one year ago; then why such issues are being raised now?” he questioned.
He said the compensation was assessed by a board of officers and it was approved by the government at the time of the previous DC.
“When the DA is doing so much work in education, then it is better that student unions take note of those initiatives affecting students,” he suggested.