CM laments airport land compensation issue

LAAYANG, Jan 15: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday expressed anguish over the reported objections raised by a few sections of the society over land compensation rates “when the central government has cleared all decks for construction of the first full-fledged airport of the state in Hollongi.”
The CM was addressing the gathering after dedicating the state’s first steel arch bridge, over the Kurung river, here in Kurung Kumey district. The bridge connects Sangram to Nyobia circle.
“I had promised the people that I would make the Hollongi airport a reality in my tenure. It fills my heart with pain to know that when the project is about to take off, a few people are raising objections. I want to tell them to please understand that the airport is not only for Hollongi but the entire state,” Pema said.
He said it took a lot of persuasion for the Centre to agree to provide land compensation in addition to the airport project cost as a special case for Arunachal Pradesh, despite there being no such provision, and appealed to the people to “think and act in the larger interest of the state, discarding individual benefits.”
Earlier, while dedicating the bridge, Pema said the double-lane bridge would become the lifeline of several villages in Nyobia circle, besides providing connectivity to remote circles of Parsi-Parlo and Damin.
He lauded the construction firm, Buru Enterprises, and the executing agency, PWD, “for achieving the unique distinction of successfully constructing the first-ever steel arch bridge of the state.”
Constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 1116.52 lakhs, the bridge spans 96 metres. Work on it had begun in 2015, and was completed in September 2018.
Underscoring the importance of connectivity for overall development of the people living in remote villages, the CM said the state government, “with handholding extended by the central government, especially by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is surging ahead in the connectivity sector.”
“For years our plans and policies were centralized and limited to Itanagar and a few towns. We made schemes and programmes for the people sitting in Itanagar without taking into account the aspirations of the rural people. Therefore we failed to provide basic necessities to the people living in the villages even after more than 70 years of Independence,” he said.
However, Pema said, “the system has changed and my government is committed to decentralize the planning process by strengthening the institution of the deputy commissioners.”
“Only thing needed now is a political will, which ‘Team Arunachal’ will provide,” he said.
Responding to a request from local representative and cabinet minister Bamang Felix for a road from Nyobia connecting Sangram, Nyapin and Phassang in Kurung Kumey with Chayangtajo in East Kameng district, Pema assured to take it up with the Centre after the elections.
He, however, appealed to the people not to expect land compensation in return for the road.
Koloriang MLA Pani Taram, Advisor to CM, Tai Tagak, the PWD commissioner, the chief engineers of PWD and PHED, the DC, and HoDs were present.
The CM also inaugurated the Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya in Gaga, and laid the foundation stone for a Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Pagba. He also inaugurated the PWD inspection bungalow in Nyobia. (CMO)