Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Monday formed a panel to monitor the progress of work for upgrading a two-lane highway into a four-lane one, and asked its members to coordinate with the implementing agency to ensure a portion of the road gets ready by March. Chairing a review meeting of PWD (highway zone) officials, Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) representatives and the project contractor, Khandu said the committee, while monitoring the NH-415 project every day, should also liaise with government agencies.
The four-member panel has PWD Chief Engineer (design and planning) Atop Lego, joint secretary to the chief minister, Kangki Darang, officer on special duty (OSD) to Khandu, Lham Tashi, and consultant Pradeep Mehta as members. The highway, once constructed, will connect Itanagar with Assam’s Biswanath Chariali district on one side and Lakhimpur on the other.
Khandu urged contractor T K Engineering to immediately “overhaul men and machinery deployed for construction of the stretch from Chandranagar to Papu-Nallah”. He asked the construction agency to immediately increase the number of labourers at the site.
“Common people are suffering a lot. Therefore, we are not going to accept any excuses. Complete the stretch before March 2021,” the CM stated. He suggested the implementing party to draft a work- chart every 10 days so that targets are met at micro level.
State Home Minister Baman Felix, who also present at the meeting, said that his department was fully committed to the project and would provide all help to the contractors. “On behalf of the home department, I assure you security and protection round the clock. In return, you just have to complete the project at hand by the deadline,” Felix told the officials.
T K Engineering CMD Rotu Techi admitted that work on the highway stretch — from Chandranagar to Papu Nallah — suffered delay due to the COVID-induced lockdown and the prolonged monsoon season. He, however, gave assurance that labourers from Bihar and Jharkhand were being brought in, and the stretch, barring an underpass and two bridges, would be ready before March.
Khandu had recently announced at a public function that he would relinquish his post if the portion of the highway is not completed by March next year.