ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu assured the State Assembly that he will pursue with the Centre to take up construction of the two-lane 'East-West Industrial Corridor' along the foothill areas from Bhairabkund, the tri-junction of Bhutan, Assam and Arunachal in the western side to Kanubari in Longding district in the eastern part of the State.
The ambitious project envisaged the transformation of a vast area of the State without touching Assam to boost industrial and economic development in the State, Khandu informed the Assembly in reply to a question raised by Congress member Wanglin Lowangdong.
He stated that union MoRTH Minister Nitin Gadkari during 2015 agreed in principle to fund the project as a state highway provided, the State government completes the pre-construction activities such as land acquisition, forest clearance and techno-economic feasibility study along with detailed project report (DPR).
"The Ministry will not provide any fund for land compensation, forest clearance and utility shifting and therefore the State government's responsibility is to complete the pre-construction activities with encumbrance free Right of Way (RoW) for sanction of the project," said Khandu.
He added that the road project which, would pass through nine districts of the State, has a total length of 966.78 kilometers, which is inclusive if 274.20 kilometers of existing national highway standard road from Pasighat in East Siang district to Manmao in Changlang district.
The balance length of 692.58 km is proposed in two phases including phase-I of 545.45 km starts from Pasighat and culminates at Bhairabkund and phase-II of 147.13 km which starts from Kanubari in Longding district and culminates at Tirap Gate (Manmao), he disclosed.
"The entire length of phase-I is in DPR stage and work of survey and investigation of phase-II is in progress," informed the Chief Minister, adding that the road stretch under phase-I has been divided into four sub packages – package-I of 308.45 km from Pasighat to Naharlagun, package-II (A) of 101.70 km from Naharlagun to Seijosa in Pakke Kessang district, package-II (B) of 39.84 km from Seijosa to Bhalukpong and package-II (C) of 95.46 km from Bhalukpong to Bhairabkund.
"The DPRs of package I and II (A) are under the scrutiny of the state government and pending due to non-submission of encumbrance free land availability certificates for respective deputy commissioners (DCs)," said Khandu, adding that the DCs and local MLAs have been requested to mobilize for land acquisition.
The Chief Minister added that the proposed alignment of the road under package-II (B) from Seijosa to Bhalukpong passes through Pakke Tiger Reserve for which stiff opposition had evoked from various corner including wild life authority for having a road across the tiger reserve area.
"The DPR (Detailed Project Report) of Package II(C) from Bhalukpong to Bhairabkund has been submitted to the ministry in December last year," said Khandu, adding that the proposal is yet to be approved by the Ministry.
Responding to a supplementary from BJP MLA Biyuram Wahge who suggested to constructed an elevated highway in the portion of Pakke Tiger Reserve so that the wild life habitat is not hampered, Khandu informed that the department is examining the proposal and the final call would be taken by the MoRTH (Ministry of Road Transport Highways).
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