Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday assured the Assembly that the State government will take up the East West Industrial Corridor (EWIC) highway project with the Centre for its early approval.
“I assure the members we will definitely take up the proposed road project with Government of India specially Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) to get it sanctioned as early as possible,” said Khandu while responding to a supplementary from Congress legislator Wanglin Lowandong on the status of EWIC during Question Hour in the Assembly.
The proposed highway, which will ultimately serve as an industrial corridor of the state, will be constructed along the foothill areas of Arunachal Pradesh from Bhairabkund (West Kameng) to Kanubari in Longding district via Bhalukpong, Seijosa, Naharlagun, Pasighat etc, he said.
“This project is very important to us for the larger interest of Arunachal Pradesh as it envisages the transformation of a vast area of the state to boost industrial and economic development in the state. Since our Arunachal is so vast; we have to travel from east to west via Assam. When EWC is built we do not have to touch down the Assam roads,” Khandu said.
Informing that Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari during his visit to Itanagar on April 30, 2015 had agreed “in principle” to fund the construction of two-lane EWIC as a state highway provided the state government completes pre-construction activities such as land acquisition, forest clearances and techno-economic feasibility study along with detailed project report (DPR). No fund will be provided by the Ministry for compensation of land acquisition, forest clearance, utility shifting etc and that the state government’s responsibility is to complete the pre-construction activities with encumbrance free right of way (RoW) for sanction of this project by the Centre.
The EWIC has a total length of 966.78 km which is inclusive of 274.20 km existing national highway standard road from Pasighat to Manmao. The balance length of 692.58 km is proposed in two phases. The phase-I of 545.45 Km starts from Pasighat (East Siang) and culminates at Bhairabkund and phase-II of 147.13 km starts from Kanubari (Longding) and culminates at Tirap Gate (Manmao).
The entire length of phase-I is in DPR stage and the work of survey and investigation of phase-II is in progress, he said and added the stretch under phase-I has been divided into four sub packages: package-I: Pasighat to Naharlagun (308.45 km), package-II A: Naharlagun to Seijosa (101.70 km), package-II B: Seijosa to Bhalukpong (39.84 km), and package-II C: Bhalukpong to Bhairabkund (95.46 km).
The DPRs of package-I (308.45 km) and package-II A (101.70 km) are under scrutiny of the state government. These DPRs are pending due to non submission of encumbrance free land availability certificates from respective Deputy Commissioners. The concerned DCs and MLAs have been requested to mobilize for encumbrance free land, Khandu informed, adding that the DPR of package-II C (95.46 km) has been submitted to MoRTH in December last year.