Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu assured the people of Sangdupota that if they assure to forgo compensation, he wouldn’t waste time to upgrade the existing road to a double-lane State Highway.
Basar-Nello ( Sangdupota )
A motley crowd of several hundred – govt employees, men, women, children, students, gaon buras, gaon buris – had thronged from nearby villages that comprise the Sangdupota administrative circle of Papum Pare district at Basar-Nello here, 31 kms from the state capital. Expectations were palpably high as it was former Chief Minister, Late Dorjee Khandu, father of the present, who had kick-started the developmental projectile of the area by creating the Administrative Circle several years ago. This time, however, they just had one demand from the son – an all-weather road connecting the remote circle with the state capital.
It’s not that there isn’t a road. There exists one. But existence is the only word that defines the road at the moment.
With vast stretches of land yet to be optimally utilized and its proximity to the state capital Itanagar, the area boasts of several important institutions like the National Institute of Technology (NIT), the Jarbom Gamlin Govt Law College, Bini Yanga Govt Women’s College, Film & Television Institute of India and the Cane & Bamboo Processing Unit. Many similar projects are still on the pipeline.
“Learn from the people of Eastern Arunachal. See the beautiful roads they have. Think of the pace of development they are witnessing. Can’t we in the Western districts, do what they can? Like them, can’t we forsake the land compensation demand we make every time a developmental project comes around?” Khandu questioned.
He narrated the act of ten villages in Upper Siang district during his recent visit to Yingkiong. Demanding a road in their area, people of these villages gave him in writing that they wouldn’t seek a penny in compensation from the government.
“They just want the road, nothing else, for they know that once the road comes, everything else will follow,” the Chief Minister said.
He assured the people of Sangdupota that if they assure to forgoe compensation, he wouldn’t waste time to upgrade the existing road to a double-lane State Highway and start its construction.
“As I can see that you have all agreed not to demand compensation, I assure that the road will be sanctioned by November and tender process completed by December,” he announced to a thunderous applause.
He suggested that a local monitoring committee be formed under the local legislator and the deputy commissioner to oversee the construction of the road once it starts. He however wondered aloud how the fund of about Rs 12 crore was utilized sanctioned for maintenance of the existing road only a year ago.
On the brighter side, villagers of the area not only promised not to seek compensation for the double-lane road but also offered land for future extension of the state capital.
Appreciating the gesture, Khandu said good sense has prevailed and it’s about time mindset of the people change from short term to long term benefits.
“With such vast stretches of land available in a serene and pristine environment, plus its proximity with the state capital, Sangdupota circle has the potential to become the educational and tourism hub of the state,” Khandu observed.
He, however, reminded that creating assets may be the government’s responsibility but preserving these and reaping benefits from them is the responsibility of the people.
Citing the example of the Jarbom Gamlin Govt Law College, which he inaugurated earlier at Jote on way to Basar-Nello, Khandu expressed concern on its infrastructural condition. Taking cognizance of several shortfalls in basic facilities as well as infrastructural shortfalls of the college building, he urged the local people to view and treat such assets as their own. A concerned Chief Minister, he assured that all shortcomings and shortfalls will be immediately met up.
The Chief Minister also expressed concern over the delay in completion of the NIT at Jote. He said he felt sad to see the half-completed buildings, just like they were when he visited the site two years ago. As the NIT comes under the purview of the Union Ministry of Human Resources Development, he assured to personally pursue with the Ministry for its early completion. He advised the NIT authorities to take up one infrastructure at a time according to priority and complete it hundred percent before going for the next.
“Once institutes like NIT, FTII, etc become fully functional it will benefit the entire state, Sangupota being on the top of the list. So please be responsible local guardians. If locals guard, cooperate and become responsible towards public assets, no one can stop economic development from coming to the area. Let’s work today for the tomorrow of our children,” he appealed.
Earlier on the day, Khandu laid the foundation for a 30-bedded hospital at Basar-Nello in place of the existing primary health center.
Khandu was accompanied by Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly PD Sona, Education Minister Taba Tedir, local legislator of 14-Doimukh assembly constituency Tana Hali, former minister and local leader Nabam Rebia and HoDs and officials of the district administration. In the inauguration of the Jarbom Gamlin Govt Law College, siblings of former Chief Minister Late Jarbom Gamlin, Jarkar Gamlin and Jarjum Ete Gamlin were also present.
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