In what can be termed a major setback to improving road connectivity in the Itanagar capital region (ICR), the construction of Package B (Papu Nallah to Nirjuli) and Package C (Nirjuli to Banderdewa) of NH 415 has been halted due to failure to obtain forest clearance. The forest department has made it clear that unless the PWD highway department obtains forest clearance from the ministry of environment & forest, they will not issue an NOC to start work. Even though the ICR administration handed over the encumbrance-free stretch to the PWD last month, the work on Package C has been stopped.
As per a forest department official, the forest clearance application is pending since 2018 at the Guwahati regional office. It is quite shocking that till date clearance has not been received. Instead of indulging in blame games, the forest department, the PWD highway and the capital administration should work together to get the clearance at the earliest. The work season, which is from October to March in the state, has already started. If this season is not utilized properly, the project will get delayed. This will delay the whole four-lane project. Urgent efforts should be made to resolve all issues and work should start at the earliest. The early completion of Package B (Papu Nallah to Nirjuli) and Package C (Nirjuli to Banderdewa) of NH 415 will immensely improve the road condition of the ICR.