Pema Khandu
Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu during a meeting with chief secretary and PWD commissioner at his office on Monday. Image credit - Northeast Now

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Monday ordered to keep in abeyance all survey works, ongoing or scheduled, on the road through the Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR) in Pakke-Kessang district.

Khandu issued the order expressing concern over the reported disturbance that may affect the biodiversity and wildlife of the tiger reserve.

The proposed 40km road is part of the East-West Industrial Corridor road proposed to connect Seijosa in Pakke Kessang district and Bhalukpong in West Kameng district.

As reported the proposed road passes through the Pakke Tiger Reserve, which is a biodiversity hotspot of the eastern Himalayas.

Convening an initial review meeting with the chief secretary and the PWD commissioner this morning, the chief minister decided to halt all survey works on the proposed road with the aim to preserve the Tiger habitat.

The Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR) is home to over 2000 species of plants, 300 species of birds, 40 species of mammals, 30 species of amphibians and 36 species of reptiles.

Khandu observed that the PTR is one of the most protected sanctuaries in the country and is the pride and treasure of Arunachal Pradesh.

“As many species of flora and fauna are globally threatened, and PTR is one of the last remaining strongholds left for these species, we are committed to preserving it for our coming generations,” said Khandu.

“We are aware that any infrastructural developments that can be detrimental to the tiger reserve in the future need to be considered seriously before proposing it,” he remarked.

The chief minister proposed a detailed review meeting to be held soon on the issue with the environment and forest department, PWD and all local stakeholders to chalk out further course of action.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com