ZIRO, Jan 21: Youth leader and former president of the Apatani Youth Association, Taku Chatung, has donated his land free of cost for construction of the Potin-Bopi Trans-Arunachal Highway (TAH) in Lower Subansiri district.
On Monday, during the visit of Chief Minister Pema Khandu here, Chatung handed over an affidavit and a letter to the CM, stating his decision.
As per the affidavit, Chatung owns a plot of land at Nenchalyang in Old Ziro, which will be affected by the construction of the Potin-Bopi road. The plot has standing kiwi, apple and plum orchards, and a concrete boundary wall.
“The highway compensation issue has brought a bad name to not only Lower Subansiri district but to the entire state. What is even more of concern to me is that the compensation issue is yet to be resolved and construction of TAH seems to be a distant dream. We seem to prefer money over good road,” Chatung stated in the letter to the chief minister.
He added that though Lower Subansiri has huge potential in tourism and horticulture sectors, it remains unexploited due to the absence of a good road.
“We have no right to deny good roads to the poor and innocent citizens of the district. Therefore I am submitting an affidavit to donate land free of cost to the deputy commissioner. I also request the DC that the amount which has been earmarked against my plot of land should be returned back to the state government, and may be utilized for the welfare of the people,” Chatung added.
He expressed hope that good sense would prevail among the people of Lower Subansiri and the construction of the Potin-Bopi road would start soon.
Last week, Urban Development Chief Engineer Taba Tedir returned Rs 3.25 crore which he had received as compensation for his property located at Billo village in Lower Subansiri district, announcing that he was donating his land free of cost for construction of the Potin-Bopi road.
The construction of said stretch of the highway remains a non-starter due to compensation issues. A massive scam in the distribution of compensation money was unearthed last year, and the former deputy commissioner and the DLRSO of Lower Subansiri were arrested for their alleged involvement.
Recently, Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee president Takam Sanjoy alleged that the MLAs of Raga, Yachuli and Ziro were also involved in the compensation scam.