Rampant earth cutting in state capital | CM calls for attitudinal change

ITANAGAR, Jan 29: Expressing concern over rampant earth cutting in capital cities of Itanagar and Naharlagun, Chief Minister Pema Khandu called for change of people’s mindset while  addressing first foundation day celebration of Itanagar Municipal Corporation (IMC) at  DK Convention Centre here on Monday.

“Whenever I fly over the capital city, it pains me to see the hills being bulldozed, trees being cut all over. Why can’t we let the hills and greenery remain even while building houses,” Khandu wondered? He drew attention to practices followed by people in other hill states, like Sikkim, where they design and build houses according to the terrain without resorting to massive earth cutting.

State capital dwellers are wasting huge amounts of money in earth cutting only, which escalates house building cost to maximum, sometimes beyond imagination, he said, adding the people go for rampant earth cutting in  winters and the summer rains wash away sand, gravel and mud from these sites to block drains and damage roads and start blaming the GoAP.

He advised IMC to create mass awareness as several developmental projects for state capital, like smart street lights and proper drainage system in colonies, are in pipeline to be executed under the IMC. The hanging and haphazard electricity transmission lines bloting the city’s beauty will be removed, he said.

Solid waste management is a major issue in Capital Complex that needs urgent attention and solution, he said, adding, “I am happy that IMC after visiting several waste management projects in other states have zeroed down on best practices to come up with a vision plan. Two solid waste management plants are to be developed – one each for Naharlagun and Itanagar. We need to set up these plants soon. Depending on their success, we plan to develop similar plants in districts where waste management issue is serious,” Khandu said.

Raising problem of single-use plastic posing serious threat to environmental pollution globally, he said that single use plastic needs a serious look. “We plan a stringent policy and working on it. For short term practicality we cannot endanger our future, our planet,” he said.

Reminding IMC its role in development of the Capital Complex, he said “Itanagar is our face and we must develop the vibrant city further. I, on behalf of the GoAP, assure IMC support and handholding in its journey to transform the city.

Responding to IMC’s plea for CM’s intervention in resolving issue of lack of proper coordination between IMC and GoAP departments, Khandu assured that he will take it up with authorities concerned and suggested IMC to look into traffic congestion, parking spaces, regularization and demarcation of weekly markets.

The event was also attended by MLAs Tana Hali Tara and Hayeng Mangfi, IMC mayor Tame Phassang, corporators, IMC officials, were present, among the guests. (CMO)

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