Minister says delay is due to adverse weather and hurdles in land acquisition

Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways C.P. Joshi on Tuesday revealed that only 100 km of the 2,400-km Trans-Arunachal Highway announced under the Prime Minister’s package for Arunachal Pradesh had been completed so far.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced the project in Itanagar on January 31, 2008. The Trans-Arunachal (declared as National Highway 229) highway from Tawang to Mahadevpur will pass through Bomdila, Nechipur, Seppa, Sagalee, Ziro, Daporijo, Along, Pasighat, Roing, Teju, Mahadevpur, Namchik, Changlang, Khonsa and Kanubari. The project components include construction of two-lane feeder roads connecting all district headquarters.

Dr. Joshi attributed the delay in execution of the project of strategic importance to hurdles faced in supply of materials due to adverse weather condition and bottlenecks in land acquisition.

The Minister said that under the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme (SARDP-NE) construction, 10,141 km of two-lane highway had been planned for providing connectivity to all district headquarters of the northeastern region in two phases. So far 1,000 km had been constructed. Phase A of the programme, including road connectivity under the PM’s package for Arunachal Pradesh that covers 6,418 km, at an estimated cost of Rs. 33,688 crore, is targeted to be completed by June 2016 while Phase B was still in the conceptual stage. The SARDP-NE work has been executed by State Public Works Department, the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

Dr. Joshi said the East West Corridor project was expected to be completed by December 2014. The total length of the East West Corridor project in Assam was 670 km, of which NHAI had been entrusted with constructing 639 km. Till January, construction of 431 km of the corridor was completed.

All the problems being encountered in execution of the project had been resolved, the Minister added.

Dr. Joshi was here to review the progress of implementation of the SARDP-NE to identify the bottlenecks and to take corrective action. He urged all State governments and the BRO to step up their efforts to meet the target dates. He announced at the review meeting that henceforth the projects would be executed on a new contract format called EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) under which the contractor would assume design responsibility and absorb variations. The Minister also emphasised on the need for preparation of correct Detail Project Reports, award of works to contractors only after 90 per cent of the land required had been taken over and ensuring resolution of environment and forest clearance in a timely manner.