ITANAGAR, The construction of the package B (Papu Nallah to Nirjuli) and package C (Nirjuli to Banderdewa) of NH 415 are yet to start due to failure to obtain forest clearance. The capital administration has already handed over encumbrance free land to contractors for the package C (Nirjuli to Banderdewa) stretch. However, the work is yet to start as the forest department has asked PWD highway to first obtain forest clearance and then start the work.
Briefing the media here on Monday DFO Banderdewa Chukhu Loma said the forest clearance proposal is lying with the government of India. “PWD highway submitted a proposal in 2018 and the forest department immediately forwarded it to the government of India. As per our knowledge the proposal is lying at the regional office, Guwahati. Everyone needs to work together to expedite forest clearance,” said DFO Loma. He also rubbished the allegation that the forest department is creating a stumbling block in the construction of a 4 lane highway. “As per the proposal of PWD Highway 29-hectare forest is to be affected by construction of 4 lane highway. In return 58 hectare has to be afforested in some other places as per the laid down norms and funds for it are to be provided by PWD highway. Let me be very clear, no one is stopping work. But rules of land have to be followed while executing any project,” he added. The DFO cited the example of the rap forest department received from the National green tribunal (NGT) in the construction of Hollongi to Itanagar 4 lane highway.
“When Hollongi to Itanagar 4 lane highway was constructed without obtaining forest clearance, the NGT took strong note after a citizen of Arunachal filed a case. The forest department had to submit an offence report to the chief judicial magistrate detailing the violation of forest rules.
Similar problems should not be repeated in the package B and C,” DFO Banderdewa said. He urged highway authority to intervene and expedite the forest clearance.
Meanwhile Chief Engineer (CE) Highway S Sumnyan acknowledged that lack of forest clearance will delay the project.
“Forest clearance is taking time. We have complied everything from our side. Recently I have written to PCCF in this regard. I hope we get forest clearance timely so that projects are not delayed. It is a tedious job to get a project sanctioned and conduct tender and all other processes,” said CE Highway.