Itanagar: Despite being under investigation by the Special Investigation Cell (SIC) of the state police for alleged corruption, two major roads in the East Kameng district – one from Seppa to Chayangtajo and the other from Pakke to Bameng–may soon see the light of day.
During a visit to Chayangtajo and Bameng assembly constituencies, Chief Minister Pema Khandu said the state government would prioritise these two road projects and sanction the required funds for their completion within the next couple of years.
It may be noted that once a government project is under investigation, fresh sanction of funds is almost impractical.
Khandu, who travelled to Chayangtajo first from Itanagar by road, expressed concern over the delay of more than a decade in completion of the Seppa-Chayang Tajo road initially funded by NEC.
“As per the demand of the public, we had to order an investigation by SIC against alleged corrupt practices by officials as well as contractors in the construction of the said road. It pains my heart to know that it’s because of few of our people that the road is still incomplete,” Khandu lamented.
In a public meeting at Chayangtajo on Tuesday morning, he assured to sanction the funds for its completion despite lack of resources.
“The Government still has Rs 21 crore sanctioned for construction of the Seppa-Chayangtajo road. But the PWD has requested an additional amount of Rs 20 crore for its completion. I promise that a total of Rs 41 crore will be released for this road on top priority and I assure you to complete it within 2-3 years and dedicate it to the people,” Khandu announced.
Going out of the way to affirm his commitment, Khandu further announced that people of the constituency may refrain from voting in favour of the BJP candidate in the 2024 elections if the road is not completed by then.
He, however, appealed to the people to stake ‘ownership’ of the road and not let it go the same way as earlier.
“You have to own it. It’s your road. On every stage of its construction, you should keep a watch and in every possible way you should voluntarily assist in its construction,” he advised.
Similarly, in a meeting at Bameng that very evening, Khandu expressed extreme surprise over the condition of the road from Pakke to Bameng.
“Seppa-Chayangtajo road is famous so I thought the Pakke-Bameng road would be better than it. Surprisingly, it turned out worse than the Chayangtajo road,” he exclaimed.
The Pakke-Bameng road, which is a PMGSY project, is not less mired in controversy than the Chayangtajo road. As revealed by the chief minister, at least 12 PMGSY roads in the district are under the central government’s radar and of these, 9 roads fall in the Bameng assembly constituency.
In the direction of the central government, the state government’s SIC is investigating all these road projects.
Giving a ray of hope, Khandu declared to foreclose construction of the Pakke-Bameng road on ‘as is where is’ basis and accord it sanctions afresh.
He assured that all-important roads in the constituency including Bameng to Lada and Pakke to Khenewa will be taken up on priority.
Responding to memorandums submitted by local legislators Hayang Mangfi (Chayangtajo) and Goruk Pordung (Bemeng) respectively, the chief minister assured that all will be taken up in a phased manner as all will not be possible at one go. He, however, assured to create one circle office each in both the constituencies.
During the visits, Khandu also dedicated newly constructed boy’s and girl’s hostels of the Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya at Chayang Tajo to the people.
He later inaugurated the renovated police family welfare School of Seppa in presence of Union Minister for Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju and laid the foundation of ‘Nirbheek’, a gymnasium for police personnel of the district at Seppa.
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