Itanagar: More than 4,000 villagers of remote Kangku circle in Arunachal Pradesh’s Lower Siang district are just months away from having access to proper road communication for the first time since India’s Independence.
Thanks to the concentrated efforts of the locals, particularly the 'No Road No Vote’ campaign initiated by them, a 65-km road from Likabali to Kangku circle has finally been sanctioned by the state’s rural works department under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY). Likabali is around 170 km from the state capital Itanagar. The Kangku circle consists of 24 notified villages.
If the claims of the locals are to be believed, villages in the region have been living without a motorable road for over 70 years now.
As part of the movement, villagers did not cast a single vote at five of the nine polling stations in the Kangku circle of the Likabali assembly constituency, by-election to which was held in December last year.
The Likabali seat had fallen vacant after state health and family welfare minister Jomde Kena passed away on September 4 last year in Guwahati.
The locals of the area had also threatened to launch a civil disobedience movement of surrendering their voter identity cards to the government if their demand was not met.
Following this, state chief minister Pema Khandu had assured that his government would look into the grievances of the circle.
Speaking to EastMojo, Mikjom Taso, coordinator, No Road No Vote Central Committee, said, “This is a dream come true for the people of the circle who have till date suffered a lot due to lack of proper roads in the region.”
“The lack of connectivity has made our lives difficult and there is no development in our area. We have always relied on the roads in our neighboring state of Assam, even to reach villages in our own state. The situation gets worse when there is medical emergency or inter-state disputes,” Taso said.
Meanwhile, Taso, on behalf of the Kangku Circle of ‘No Road No Vote Central Committee’, has thanked local MLA Kardo Nyikyor, Union MoS for home affairs Kiren Rijiju, chief minister Khandu and the Central government for the approval of the road.
“We are hopeful that the construction work of the said road would start early and the villagers are ready to extend all possible cooperation to the executing agency. We hope to see a new dawn in our lives with the construction of the road which, till now, we only dreamed of,” he said.
However, the administrative approval and technical sanction of the road are yet to be completed, as per reports.