Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on March 4 said 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 in West Kameng district 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,” Pema Khandu said.

The chief minister informed 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).

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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, he said.

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 and culminates at Bhairabkund and phase-II of 147.13 km starts from Kanubari and culminates at Tirap Gate in 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.

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