The work on the first ever state highway being taken up the APPWD has started. The 20 kms long two-lane highway will connect Itanagar with Jote in Sangdupota circle of Papum Pare district. The project is of massive significance to the state. Not only is it the first state highway, it is also the first highway project for which no compensation is being paid to the affected people. All the structures are to be voluntarily removed or shifted. The work has started from Khamir village side where human settlement is less. However, the real test will begin when the work starts from the Itanagar side.
The ICR and the Papum Pare administrations should work together and clear all obstacles from the RoW. People also need to extend support to the authorities for the construction of the two-lane highway as there is no provision for compensation. If this project succeeds, it will pave the way to take up similar projects in other parts of the country. Chief Minister Pema Khandu has taken personal initiative in this road project. Now that the work has started, the people will hope that the CM will regularly monitor the work’s progress and ensure timely release of funds, so that work is completed on time. The contractor and PWD Doimukh should strictly follow the DPR. There should not be any kind of compromise with the quality of work. Also, it is being said that forest clearance for the stretch which falls under the Itanagar Wildlife Sanctuary has not been obtained, due to which work has not started from the Itanagar side. It is quite shocking why the PWD did not get the forest clearance beforehand. This kind of lackadaisical attitude is the main cause for the delay in the completion of important road projects in the state. The PWD should try to get forest clearance at the earliest.