Arunachal Pradesh to soon take up East-West Industrial Corridor Highway project with Centre- Pema Khandu

ITANAGAR-   Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday said that the state government will soon take up the construction of the proposed 2-lane East-West Industrial Corridor Highway project with the central government. This was informed by the CM in reply to a question raised in the assembly by Congress MLA Wanglin Lowangdong. According to a PTI report.

The proposed highway project, which is expected to serve as an industrial corridor for Arunachal Pradesh, will be built along the foothills of the state from Bhairabkunda in the district of West Kameng, at the tri-junction of Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam to Ruksin, located in the district of East Siang.

As the project envisages the transformation of a vast area of Arunachal Pradesh to boost its industrial and economic development, the project is very crucial for the larger interest of the state, the CM said. Since the state of Arunachal Pradesh is so vast, people have to travel from east to west via Assam. Once the corridor is built, people will not have to go via roads in the state of Assam, Khandu said.

The CM further said that Union Minister Nitin Gadkari during his visit to Itanagar in the year 2015 had agreed “in principle” to fund the infra project as a state highway, provided the state government of Arunachal Pradesh completed pre-construction activities like forest clearance, land acquisition as well as techno-economic feasibility study along with the DPR. For land compensation, forest clearance and utility shifting, the Union Ministry will not provide any fund, therefore, the responsibility of the state government is to finish the pre-construction activities with encumbrance free Right of Way for the sanction of the 2-lane East-West Industrial Corridor Highway project, he said.

The highway project, which would pass via nine districts of Arunachal Pradesh, will have 966.78 km length in total, including 274.20 km length of the existing NH standard road from Pasighat in the district of East Siang to Manmao in the district of Changlang. The remaining 692.58 km length is proposed to be developed in two phases. The 545.45 km long phase-1 starts from Pasighat and ends at Bhairabkund, while 147.13 km phase-2 starts from Kanubari in Longding district and ends at Tirap Gate in the district of Manmao, the CM said. At present, the entire length of phase-1 is in the DPR stage and survey as well as investigation work of phase-2 is in progress, the chief minister said.

Under phase-1, the road stretch has been divided into four sub packages- 308.45 km of package 1 from Pasighat to Naharlagun, 101.70 km of package 2 (A) from Naharlagun to Seijosa in the district of Pakke Kessang, 39.84 km of package 2 (B) from Seijosa to Bhalukpong and 95.46 km of package 2 (C) from Bhalukpong to Bhairabkund.

According to Khandu, the DPRs of packages 1 and 2 (A) are currently under the scrutiny of the Arunachal Pradesh government and pending because of the non-submission of encumbrance free land availability certificates from respective DCs. Under package 2(B), the proposed alignment of the road from Seijosa to Bhalukpong passes via Pakke Tiger Reserve evoking opposition from multiple quarters. Last year in December, the package 2 (C) DPR from Bhalukpong to Bhairabkund has already been submitted to the Union Ministry. The proposal is awaiting the ministry’s approval, the CM added.

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