Forum reiterates demand for construction of EWIC

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 24 Aug: Renewing its demand for construction of the East-West Industrial Corridor (EWIC), the Pakke-Kessang District Intellectual Forum (PDIF) on Monday urged the state government to withdraw its cancellation order issued against the PWD highway road survey report.

The forest department objected to the EWIC project, prompting the state government to issue a cancellation order, stating that the proposed road passes through the Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR) in between Bhalukpong in West Kameng district and Seijosa in Pakke-Kessang district.

In a meeting held on Sunday, the PDIF urged the government to “not succumb to unnecessary pressure from any individual or NGOs.”

The district’s parental organization unanimously resolved that the EWIC two-lane road should be built through the PTR as proposed, with an elevated road and an animal corridor to keep the animals’ habitat undisturbed.

The PDIF conducted the meeting, chaired by its chairman Chuma Nabom, seeking people’s opinion on the proposed EWIC two-lane road project. It is said that 39 kilometres of the EWIC project is proposed to run through the PTR, which eventually sparked a controversy and faced stiff resistance from environmentalists and the forest department.

Sharing his opinion in the meeting, the PDIF chairman appealed to the government to grant permission for carrying out survey for the EWIC two-lane road from Seijosa to Bhalukpong (approximately 39 kms). He also asked the executing agencies to “strictly follow the principles of the manual of the Wildlife Institute of India while building the road.”

PDIF general secretary Hano Techi stated that the purpose of building the EWIC would fail if it doesn’t run through the foothill of the Assam-Arunachal boundary.

“If a national highway can pass through a national park like Kaziranga (Assam), why can’t one pass through the Pakke Tiger Reserve?” Hano said.

To further push the demand for implementing the project, a committee was constituted, with former PWD (western zone) chief engineer Katung Wahge as its chairman and former ZPM and current district BJP president Pani Tayam as its secretary.