Union minister of state for road, transport & highways Gen (Rtd) VK Singh along with Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu, deputy CM Chowna Mein and Arunachal East MP Tapir Gao Credit: EastMojo image

Itanagar: Union minister of state for road, transport & highways (MoRTH) Gen (retd) VK Singh has made it very clear that delay in completion of road projects in Arunachal Pradesh will not be tolerated and such contractors will be dealt with seriously.

Taking a review meeting of road projects in the state, along with chief minister Pema Khandu, deputy chief minister Chowna Mein and Arunachal East MP Tapir Gao, recently, Gen Singh expressed concern over prolonged delay in completion of projects despite repeated assurances from contractors.

“I make it clear that the ministry will not tolerate such lackadaisical attitudes of contractors, which amounts to betrayal to the country. We will ensure toughest of actions against such contractors,” he said.

The MoS said the government will encourage private sectors and entrepreneurs, especially locals, to execute as many projects as possible but won’t be lenient when it comes to timely completion and quality of work.

Admitting to the issue of land acquisition vis-a-vis land compensation a major hurdle not only in Arunachal Pradesh but across the country, he assured the ministry will accept all genuine cases. He, however, pointed that many land compensation cases are “illegal” and these must be nipped at the bud by the state administration.

While expressing concern over repeated landslides and sinking-zones disrupting road communication in the state, Gen Singh called for bringing in new technology to deal with these.

“Our ministry is open to new technologies. Our focus should not only be in building roads but also preventing landslides and mud-sinks that destruct the road every monsoon,” he said and urged the technical experts to come up with innovative ideas.

For smooth execution of road projects, the MoS called for proper cooperation and coordination amongst all the central agencies and state agencies. He suggested that review meetings may be taken at the level of the chief secretary every month and under the chief minister every third month. He assured the presence of representatives from all central government agencies like the BRO and National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation (NHDCIL).

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Union minister of state for road, transport & highways General (retd) VK Singh (right) with Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Prema Khandu 

CM Khandu, while expressing gratitude to Gen Singh for travelling by road from Guwahati to Itanagar, submitted a five-point memorandum concerning roads and highways in Arunachal Pradesh that includes approval and sanction of four-laning of Itanagar to Banderdewa (Packages B & C), approval of four National Highways (Akajan – Likabali – Bame, Margherita – Changlang, Daporijo – Gerukamukh and Tezu – Chapakhawa via Sunpara), Bhutan-China-Myanmar Corridor along the international border under ‘Bharat Mala’ scheme of the government of India, approval and sanction of East-West Industrial Corridor and sufficient fund for restoration of damages caused by flood to existing roads and highways.

Khandu also assured that bottlenecks concerning land acquisition and compensation as highlighted by the executing agencies will be resolved on priority. He said a review meeting along with Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar will be called very soon of the deputy commissioners to resolve all pending issues.

Earlier, central agencies MoRTH, Border Road Organisation (BRO) and NHIDCL as well as the state highway division of PWD gave detail presentation of the status of projects being executed by them. Also present were representatives of private firms and companies undertaking construction of various road projects across the state.

The MoRTH MoS was accompanied by top officials of the ministry headed by its chief engineer (zone V), BRO and NHIDCL.

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