Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has expressed concern over the slow pace of work on the Tato to Mechukha 2-lane highway in Shi-Yomi district and said that the state government has taken up the matter seriously.
Khandu, who is on whirlwind road trip to central districts of the state, reached Mechukha yesterday from Aalo in West Siang district.
Speaking at the inaugural function of the 1st Prime Minister Youth Camp & Cycle Rally being held here, Khandu noted that while Aalo to Kaying road has been satisfactorily completed, the stretch between Kaying and Tato is progressing as per timeline. He, however, regretted that the portion from Tato, the district headquarters of Shi-Yomi, to Mechukha will never be completed on time at the current pace of progress.
“Travelling on the road, I can say that the equipment and manpower being deployed on this stretch is way below par and at this rate the road will not be completed on time,” he said.
He said that during his overnight stay at Mechukha, he had several meetings with the district administration, senior leaders, panchayat leaders as well as party workers of the district, who have all expressed concern over the abysmal progress of the road.
Khandu informed that he has taken up the matter with the Commander BRTF, which is executing the project and assured the people that the Commander himself is serious about it.
“Very soon the BRTF Commander will initiate formalities in accordance with agreement signed with the contractors keeping in top priority timely completion of the project,” he informed.
Khandu observed that the concerned contractor is at fault for the delay.
“The contractor who got this package sub-let the same to some other contractor, who in turn further sub-let it down the line. This is not the way to execute a project of such importance,” he said.
He said that with cooperation of the central government, the state government has taken the responsibility to connect all the districts with two-lane highways but due to mismanagement by contractors, the government is failing the people.
Khandu called upon serious and capable contractors to come forward and bid for the works as and when tendered.
“We are serious on early completion of this 40-plus km road and from now on, I will personally monitor its progress,” he assured.
In order to stress on the Centre’s concern for development of border areas, Khandu informed that Union Home Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to visit Kibithu in Anjaw district on Monday and Tuesday where he will be launching the ‘Vibrant Villages Programme’ (VVP).
The VVP is a centrally sponsored scheme wherein 2,967 villages in 46 blocks of 19 districts abutting the northern border in the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh have been identified for comprehensive development.
With Arunachal Pradesh having the longest international northern border, Khandu informed that the state will benefit the most.
“Of the 662 border villages identified for priority coverage in the first phase, 455 villages are in Arunachal Pradesh,” he said and assured that Shi Yomi would have major chunk of its villages covered under this program.
Congratulating the Department of Secondary Education, the district administration and the NCC for organizing the first ever five-day Prime Minister Youth Camp and Cycle Rally at picturesque Mechukha valley, Khandu expressed optimism that it would offer a wonderful platform to promote cultural and inter-tribe bonding.
“This gives opportunities to our youth to get acquainted with various tribes of the state and their rich culture and traditions,” he said.
Khandu urged the participating youths from all parts of the state to gain from the experience at the camp and make it a lifetime memory.
“Every activity conducted here has some learning. Make most of it,” he advised.
Meanwhile, Khandu inaugurated the Mechukha Festival Ground, foundation of which was laid by him in November 2021.
He also inaugurated several other projects including the Civil Terminal Building at the Mechukha airstrip. Foundation stones were also laid of 4 projects including the District Secretariat at Tato.
Amongst others, present on the occasion were local legislator and State Assembly Speaker PD Sona, Education Minister Taba Tedir and legislators Laisam Simai, Zignu Namchoom, Kento Jini and Jekke Tako.