ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has assured the Assembly that the State government will move the Railway Ministry to fast track construction of the broad-gauge project from Murkonseleg in Dhemaji district (Assam) to Pasighat in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. The project is halted due to the issue of land-compensation.
Responding to a short-duration discussion brought in the Assembly by senior Congress member Ninong Ering on Tuesday, Khandu disclosed that an amount of Rs 73 crore was paid as compensation to the affected land owners for the first phase of the project covering a distance of seven kilometers.
He said the high rate of compensation was due to wrong interpretation by district officials for which the State government had ordered an inquiry by the Special Investigating Cell (SIC) of the police.
"Raising objection about the high rate of compensation, the Ministry fixed Rs 160 per square meter for agricultural land as compensation for the second phase of the project from Liku River to Pasighat covering a distance of 16 kilometers," said Khandu adding that the proposed project would also link Tezu and Parsuram Kund in Lohit district and Namsai (Namsai district) and Rupai in Tinsukia district of Assam.
The Chief Minister added that survey is going on for the stretch from Pasighat to Parsuram Kund besides another line from Lakhimpur in Assam to Aalo in West Siang district of the State and Bhalukpong in West Kameng district to Tawang.
While lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi for attaching priority to the Communication sector, Khandu added that the State government is seriously taking up the project and would soon have discussion with the Ministry to resolve the matter.
Earlier initiating the discussion, Ering informed that when China has created world-class infrastructure along its border, the Centre should expedite the project. Such a step would immensely help the armed forces for easy access to the frontier, pointed out Ering.
"The 'Act East Policy' of the Centre will carry no meaning if such an important project, started in 2021, is not completed," said Ering. He appealed to the State government to discuss the issue with the Centre for an early solution.
TAPPING WATER RESOURCES & ECO TOURISM: Senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki suggested the government for a proper water policy to harness the State's water potential and to give more thrust on eco-tourism and preservation of heritage sites. He stressed that proper tapping of these sectors would ensure gainful employment in the State. Later the House adopted the motion by voice votes.
FIRE ACCIDENTS: Responding to another question from former Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, Arunachal Pradesh Home Minister Bamang Felix informed the House that the State witnessed a total of 111 fire accidents between January to December 31, last year. He said that at present the State has 22 fire stations with another at Hawai in Anjaw district under construction. The Home Minister appealed to the members of the Assembly to create awareness among the people on safety measures to avoid fire mishaps, a regular phenomenonin the State.