Glimmer of hope

Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Wednesday while addressing a district development committee meeting in Tawang assured that improving road communication would be the topmost priority of his government. This announcement is music to the ears of the people of Arunachal Pradesh. The citizens of the state have been suffering because of poor condition of the roads for long. Barring a few districts in the eastern region, road communication is in a deplorable condition in the rest of the state. The state government has placed a Rs 100-crore fund in the budget under the Chief Minister’s Comprehensive State Road Plan to improve motorable roads in all the administrative headquarters of the state.
This fund should be properly used in order to improve the condition of the roads in the district headquarters. Further, the government should look into the issues that are holding back major road projects in the state. Besides the Trans-Arunachal Highway (TAH) several other road projects, including those under the PMGSY, are caught up in various hurdles. Despite tall promises, the TAH has simply failed to take off in the state. It was a dream project on which the people of state had pinned big hopes. But compensation and other issues have virtually killed off the project. The two ambitious road projects – the frontier highway and the east-west industrial corridor – initiated by union Minister of State (Independent) for Youth Affairs & Sports, Kiren Rijiju, have vanished in the air. After winning the reelection, Rijiju has stopped talking about these two projects. As CM Pema Khandu, who also holds the charge of the PWD ministry, has himself shown commitment to prioritize the road sector, there is hope among the people that the state may finally witness a change in the future.