PPA urges govt to accord top priority to EWIC

ITANAGAR, 20 Aug: The People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) urged the state government to give top priority to the proposed East West Industrial Corridor (EWIC) highway project.

The party said that the project should not get delayed “just because of the controversy over the construction of the road trough the Pakke Tiger Reserve.”

It suggested to the state government to take up the road project in two parts – east (Ruksin to Itanagar) and west (Itanagar to Bhalukpong) – and said that the more populous eastern part would “have less problem in acquiring land as many existing stretches like Ruksin-Nari, Likabali-Kangku can be co-opted within the EWIC.”

The party said that the economic blockade imposed on Mizoram by Assam following the recent boundary row between the two states should be a “lesson of caution” to the people of Arunachal. It said that the state’s 16 districts share boundaries with Assam.

“Many of the areas in Arunachal have been silent victims of forcible encroachments by the people of Assam, backed by the Assam Police and their forest officials, which go unreported due to the laxity of the state government,” PPA secretary-general Kaling Jerang said in a press statement.

The frequent bandh calls given by various organizations in Assam have always been a great hindrance for the people of Arunachal as many are dependent on Assam roads for inter-district travel, he said.

The PPA urged all the political parties, community-based organizations, civil society bodies and the All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union to sensitize the people of the state to the need for the road project.