Chief Engineer K P Purushothaman of Project Vartak, Border Road Organization (BRO) called on Chief Minister Pema Khandu here this morning and discussed the status of roads being constructed by BRO in western Arunachal Pradesh.
The focus of the discussion revolved around the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang road, technically referred as the BCT road, which is the lifeline of particularly West Kameng and Tawang districts.
Going through the presentation made on status of road works by the Chief Engineer, Khandu expressed concern over the inordinate delay in completion of the stretch between Bhalukpong to Bomdila, which he said is causing undue hardships to commuters. He urged the BRO to expedite the work and offered all cooperation from the state government side.
Balipara-Charduar-Tawang Road project has been a cause of public ire as the people feel that BRO has not taken the project seriously and has taken too long a time to complete the strategically important project. People blame BRO of earth cutting along almost the entire stretch that has damaged the existing road and delayed project implementation has affected the movement of people in the region. Due to this tourism industry which is the mainstay of local people has been hit hard.
On the other hand, topography and climate are making the task of BRO even more difficult.
The BCT road with a total length 317.52 km in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh is under improvement to National Highway Double Lane (NHDL) specifications. As of date 56.21% progress has been made on the road.
When Khandu suggested working in night shifts, the BRO official assured that plans are afoot on that line. He however lamented that continuous rainfall, which is stretching beyond the season, is hampering ongoing works besides fund and machine constraints.
The Chief Engineer though assured that a considerable difference will be visible on the stretch after one month.
Purushothaman further informed that BCT includes three bypasses – Bomdila bypass, Dirang bypass and Jung bypass. While the works are on for construction of the Bomdila bypass, the other two bypasses are still at the survey stage.
Besides the bypasses, two tunnels are in the project that will allow commuters bypass the snow-covered Sela Pass and save hours of journey to Tawang. The total length of the tunnels will be 2.215 kms with approach roads of 9.92 kms. DPR is being framed for the Rs 581.13 crore project.
According to the Vartak Chief Engineer BCT will be completed by 2021 except for the tunnels, which may take another couple of years. For the time till surfacing of the Bhalukpong-Bomdila stretch he suggested commuters to be sensitized on using the Orang-Kalaktang road for travelling to Tawang.
On pending issues like land acquisition for construction of roads, Khandu sought a detailed list from the BRO and assured to take these up with the local administrations.
To a query of the Chief Minister, Purushothaman informed that BRO is taking care of its labour force in education of their children and other basic facilities.
Meanwhile, Khandu advised the BRO not to change the indigenous nomenclatures of places, which has been a trend in the recent past. He said change of original nomenclatures of places, sites, natural landscapes, etc is against the sentiments of the local populace, who pride in their traditions and culture.
The meeting was also attended by RWD Parliamentary Secretary and local MLA from Tawang district Jambey Tashi.