Much persuasion required

A high-power committee (HPC) under the chairmanship of Speaker Passang D Sona recently approved the detailed project report (DPR) for the East-West Industrial Corridor road project. The land for this project will be acquired through voluntary donations, without compensation, as per the Arunachal Pradesh Road Act. The 692.70 km long road project aims to provide road connectivity in the foothill areas of the state from Bhairabkhund in West Kameng to Kanubari in Longding. The East-West Industrial Corridor along with the Frontier Highway, which aims to connect villages situated along international border, are pet projects of the Union Minister of State (Independent) for Youth Affairs & Sports, Kiren Rijiju, who is an MP from the state.
In October 2014, Rijiju, who was then the MoS for Home, for the first time mooted the idea of an east-west industrial corridor and a frontier highway. In the 2019 election, too, he again promised to speed up the two projects. However, the project has not picked up the desired pace. It is six years since Rijiju first spoke about them and so far only a DPR – that, too, for one project – has been approved by the HPC. Now it is upto the ministry of road, transport & highways whether to accept or reject the project. It will need much persuasion from Rijiju himself and also from Chief Minister Pema Khandu to get the project sanctioned. The failure of the Trans-Arunachal Highway has made the ministry reluctant to fund road projects in the state.