ITANAGAR, The 20 km 1st package of the 1st state highway from Gopur Tinali in Itanagar to NIT Point in Jote road is in trouble due to the refusal of some landowners to donate land free of cost and litigation filed in court of law. However, a major portion of the 1st package is in full progress.
This is the 1st state highway proposed from the state capital to Jote which would be taken up to Lemin in Pakke Kessang district as a pilot project and is being funded by NABARD. There is no provision for compensation and the majority of people have voluntarily donated land free of cost and even some of them have dismantled their property. The total cost of the project is Rs 89 crore and the work began in November 2021.
While the work on 14 KM stretches under Papum Pare rural district administration is going on a war footing, the work on the 6 KM stretches under Itanagar capital region (ICR) administration have not been started till now as the authorities have failed to provide encumbrance free ROW to the contractor. Some of the land and building owners have refused to vacate their properties in the stretch between Itanagar and Moin village which comes under ICR administration thereby halting the work and the work is yet to be started. They have gone to the Gauhati high court and got a stay order.
The deputy commissioner of ICR Talo Potom has said he is working hard to get the stay order vacated at the earliest. “We are working to get it vacated at the earliest and are hopeful that work will soon start in this stretch,” said DC Potom. He also said in the stretch between Itanagar and Moin, the majority of land belongs to the forest department.
“People who are claiming compensation are illegally staying in these areas and they should know it. Law will take its own course of action,” said DC Potom. Further, he said he urged the power and PHED department to immediately submit estimates for utility shifting. “Both have been asked to submit estimates as soon as possible. After that I will pursue the matter with the government,” he added.
Several meetings have also been done to pursue the matter and the issue has been discussed with various sections including the authority with the state government to speed up the work. He said.
Meanwhile, the project director of Bhimji Velji Sorathia construction private limited and attorney Ngurang Changriang has said his company is facing loss due to the failure of the ICR administration to provide encumbrance-free land. “We have already completed earth cutting for 14 KM stretch and will also complete the GSB laying by end of February on the stretch subject to good weather. But as we are not able to work in Itanagar to Moin stretch, my machines are lying idle. This is causing a big loss to us,” said Ngurang Changriang. He further informed that out of 30 culverts 9 are already completed and the remaining culverts will be completed within the next one month. He also said if ROW is cleared, his company will complete earth cutting of Itanagar to Moin stretch within a month itself.
Besides the issue of ROW, the contractor is also facing financial issues as PWD Doimukh is yet to make any payment as of now. Even though NABARD has released the first installment of payment, the state government is yet to make payment to the contractor. “Last year on demand of the state government Rs 25 crore was released. We are yet to receive any demands after that from the state government. Whenever we receive new demand, we will examine and release funds accordingly,” said an official of NABARD.