The People’s Party of Arunachal Pradesh (PPA) asserted late Sunday that the tourist lodges in Dollungmukh circle, which were dismantled by the Assam government on Friday, were ‘forcibly’ constructed in an area that is used by the Indian Air Force (IAF) for bombing practice.
“This stunning fact was revealed during a meeting with the locals,” the party said in a press release issued on Sunday.
Members of the party visited the area after reports appeared in the media that tourist lodges in Dollungmukh area were dismantled by the Lakhimpur administration of Assam.
“This is not an issue of a boundary dispute between Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, but of the construction of tourism infrastructure in an area that falls under the jurisdiction of the IAF,” the party stated.
It sought to know from the State Government as to why the tourism infrastructure was constructed in a bombing practice zone.
“The entire episode needs a systematic inquiry as to why these bungalows, costing Rs 5 crore, were permitted to be built in a bombing practice zone,” the release stated.
It claimed that the tourist lodges were constructed under the ‘direct supervision’ of the state’s Tourism Department.
“These lodges were forcibly constructed in a controversial area in spite of the suggestions made by the locals, who wanted those assets to be built near the Dollungmukh hydropower project site,” the release further stated.
It also quoted the locals as saying that the tourist bungalow project could get sanctioned because of the personal initiative of Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju, and that the tender formalities were done through the Directorate of Tourism.
“It is unlikely that Kiren Rijiju, being the Union MoS for Home, was ignorant about the matter,” the release added, and sought clarification from Chief Minister Pema Khandu, the union minister, and the tourism secretary over the whole episode.