Complaint lodged against NHIDCL over road construction

ITANAGAR, 2 Jan: A complaint has been lodged with the chief secretary against the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd (NHIDCL) regarding the construction of the 115-km Damro-Samebasti-Etalin road in Dibang Valley district.

In a letter to the chief secretary, social activist Rohit Mele informed that the project had initially been taken up by the Border Roads Organization for construction, and was subsequently transferred in 2018 to the executing agency, the NHIDCL, vide 2180/MoRTH/ Corr/DGBR/45, dated 15 January, 2018, for further execution of the work.

Informing that payment of Rs 1,93,13,200 has already been made for compensatory afforestation and Rs 6,33,82,500 for net present value, Mele said that the forest clearance has already been accorded by the authority for both the stretches of the project: Dumro-Etalin (0.0 km to 15 km) and Dumro-Etalin (15 km to 30 km).

“Despite fulfilling the requirement for initiating the construction work for the said project in a package-wise manner, there still remains no initiation from the executing agency so far,” Mele said.

He also lamented that there has been no review of the status of the project even though the road is considered strategically important.

“The state government is yet to start the land acquisition process despite the approach made by the landowners for assessment of private land before the Dibang Valley deputy commissioner,” he claimed, adding that “the grievances of the poor project-affected landowners have not been heard and landed on deaf ears.”