Get to work

National Highway 415 has not been without controversy and delays leading to public criticism.

In October 2021, after facing repeated social media ridicule for the inordinate delay in completing the Itanagar to Papu Nallah stretch of the highway, Chief Minister Pema Khandu had announced a new deadline of March of the following year.

His deadline had come with the condition that if targets are not met by the designated date, he would resign.

The road was ready in no time, minus big culverts and bridges.

Looking at the slow progress of work on the remaining stretch of the highway, as well as a major bridge near Papu Nallah, it appears that just leaving it to the construction agencies and the district administration for encumbrance-free land won’t bring in the desired result, so the chief minister’s office should intervene yet again.

This time, quality should be the major emphasis. Many portions of the Itanagar to Papu Nallah road is mostly unusable because of slides during rainy days. The unregulated hill-cutting while building the highway has resulted in roads being blocked by mudslides.

The Naharlagun-Nirjuli-Karsingsa road remains in a pitiable condition for years now. There has been no major repair and maintenance while the highway is being broadened.

The government, its agencies – M/s Woodhill-Shivam (JV), M/s TK Engineering Consortium Pvt Ltd, M/s ARSS Infrastructure Projects Ltd and M/s TTC Infra India – must get to work before monsoon arrives. So should the district administration and the highway department.

Road is a basic necessity and citizens deserve good, safe and reliable roads, no matter the season.