By Pradeep Kumar
ITANAGAR, July 27: Though the 156-km road from Miao to Vijoynagar, located along India-China-Bhutan tri-junction, but would be completed on priority by the president GoAP as time-bound target has been given to present road contractor, said WRD Minister Honchun Ngandam.
Pointing out that various factors could have delayed its work since resumption in 2000, Ngandam, in an exclusive interview to this daily on Saturday, said that additional Rs 39 crore would be given by the GoAP to the contractors who would be legally bounded with time bound targets for timely completion.
It may be recalled here that Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein involving Ngandam and Miao MLA-cum-UD Minister Kamlung Mossang on July 23 had a threadbare discussion on steps to speed up the road project. Governor Brig (Retd) B D Mishra chaired a meeting with Mein, Ngandam, Mossang, secretary & RWD CE at Raj Bhawan next day and reiterated concerted efforts by all stakeholders to complete the road in a time bound manner.
Once completed the road would not only ensure national security with speedy movement of security forces guarding the border, while the road passing though Namdapha Tiger Reserve (NTR) will make it more secured. Many local people living within the NTR along the proposed road will be shifted to inhabited areas as assured by Mossang.
There is no certainty about availability of tigers in NTR but the GoAP and people value state’s rich flora and fauna which would be protected more effectively with the movement of forces by the road if attempt of poaching is reported, he said with confidence when his attention was drawn that 53 NTR casual employees were sacked by authorities recently.
When contacted, Mossang clarified that National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) did not release fund to pay wages of those employees in 2018-2019 fiscal for which their services were terminated.
When pointed out that 80% of 1,895 sqkm tiger reserve in Changlang district is inaccessible and the frontline staff though all casual employees but keep watch on poachers, he said that the NTCA action might be based on its doubt about availability of tigers in NTR, but it is treasure trove of numerous wild animals and medicinal plants.
Expressing concern over NTCE move, he said that he has written to state Chief Minister Pema Khandu for prompt action in this regard.