MoRTH MoS warns contractors over delay in completing road projects in Arunachal

ITANAGAR, Aug 29: Union MoS for Road, Transport & Highways (MoRTH), VK Singh, on Thursday said delay in completion of the road projects in Arunachal Pradesh “will not be tolerated, and such contractors will be dealt with seriously.”
During a meeting with Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy CM Chowna Mein and Arunachal East MP Tapir Gao here on Thursday to take stock of the road projects in the state, Singh expressed concern over the prolonged delay in completing the road projects despite repeated assurances from contractors.
“I make it clear that the ministry will not tolerate such lackadaisical attitude of contractors, which amounts to betrayal to the country. We will ensure toughest of actions against such contractors,” he said.
The MoS said the government would encourage private sectors and entrepreneurs, especially locals, to execute as many projects as possible, “but it won’t be lenient when it comes to timely completion and quality of work.”
Acknowledging that the issue of land compensation is a major hurdle not only in Arunachal but across the country, Singh said his ministry would “accept all genuine cases,” but pointed out that many of the land compensation cases “are illegal and these must be nipped in the bud by the state administration.”
Expressing concern over repeated landslides and sinking zones disrupting road communication in the state, the MoS advocated bringing in new technology to deal with such issues.
“Our ministry is open to new technologies. Our focus should not only be on building roads but also preventing landslides and mud-sinks that destruct roads every monsoon,” he said, and urged technical experts to come up with innovative ideas.
Singh also suggested that review meetings be held by the chief secretary every month, and by the chief minister every third month, with representatives from all central government agencies like the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL).
Khandu submitted a five-point memorandum to the MoS concerning roads and highways in Arunachal. The memorandum includes seeking approval and sanctioning of four-laning of the Itanagar-Banderdewa road (Packages B and C); approval of four national highways, namely, Akajan-Likabali-Bame, Margherita-Changlang, Daporijo-Gerukamukh, and Tezu-Chapakhawa via Sunpara, besides the Bhutan-China-Myanmar corridor along the international border under the Centre’s Bharat Mala scheme; approval and sanctioning of the East-West industrial corridor; and sufficient fund for restoration of damages caused by floods to the existing roads and highways.
The CM gave assurance that bottlenecks concerning land acquisition and compensation would be resolved “on priority,” and that a review meeting would be held very soon with the chief secretary and deputy commissioners to resolve all pending issues.
Earlier, representatives of the MoRTH, the BRO, the NHIDCL and the PWD’s highway division here made presentations on the status of the projects being executed by them.
Officials of private firms undertaking construction of various road projects across the state also attended the meeting. The MoS was accompanied by top officials of the ministry (headed by its Zone V chief engineer), the BRO and the NHIDCL. (CMO)