Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Tuesday assured the state assembly that the state government will urge the Ministry of Railways to fast-track the construction of the broad gauge project from Murkonseleg in Assam to Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh, which has been halted due to land compensation issues.

The state government is serious about the project and would sit with officials of the ministry soon to resolve the matter at the earliest, the chief minister informed the House.

Responding to a short duration discussion initiated by Congress legislator Ninong Ering, Khandu said that an amount of Rs 73 crore was paid as compensation to the affected land owners for the first phase of the project covering a distance of seven kilometers.

The high rate of compensation was due to wrong interpretation by district officials for which the state government had ordered an inquiry by the Special Investigating Cell (SIC) of the police, the chief minister said.

“The ministry had raised objection to the high rate of compensation and has fixed Rs 160 per square meter for agricultural land as compensation for the second phase of the project from Liku River to Pasighat in East Siang district covering a distance of 16 kilometers,” Khandu said.

The proposed project would also link Tezu and Parsuram Kund in Lohit district with Namsai (Namsai district) and Rupai in Tinsukia district of Assam.

The chief minister said that survey for linking Pasighat with Parsuram Kund is going on besides track-laying works for another line from Lakhimpur in Assam to Aalo in West Siang district of the state, and Bhalukpong in West Kameng district to Tawang.

During the discussion, Ering said that when China has created world class infrastructure along its border, the Centre should expedite the project which would immensely help the armed forces for easy access to the frontier.

“The Act East Policy of the Centre will carry no meaning if such an important project, started in 2021, is not completed,” Ering said, appealing to the state government to discuss the issue with the Centre for an early solution. PTI UPL MM

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