Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein on Monday refuted allegations by state Congress president Takam Sanjoy that the eviction drive along the Chandranagar-Pappu Nallah stretch of National Highway-415 was not being carried out in an appropriate manner and said that it would happen within a week.
Addressing media persons at his office here, Mein said that the government had in its cabinet meeting on October 8 decided to carry out the eviction in a phased manner as the requisite compensation was already paid to the land and building owners. The eviction did not happen immediately, but the administration would now start it in full force and make sure that all the buildings and establishments that fall within the Right of Way (RoW) are cleared.
“Besides the overall land compensation of Rs 42 crore, the government also paid an incentive of Rs 8.5 crore to some land and building owners who wanted to self-demolish their buildings and establishments but did not,” Mein said.
Mein also clarified that the width of the four-lane national highway shall remain 30 meters throughout the stretch of Chandranagar to Pappu Nallah.
Takam Sanjoy had earlier accused the government and district administration of not maintaining a proper RoW and demanded that the four-lane work is done as per the strip plan.
On the compensation to be paid to the owners of those buildings that were partially damaged in the eviction process carried out earlier as demanded by the Congress leader, Mein said that it was not required as the demolished portions of those buildings fall in the RoW.
“Why should the government compensate people for its own land?” Mein asked.
Regarding the demand raised by Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) and other organisations for the suspension of Capital Complex DC Prince Dhawan for his alleged involvement in misappropriating land compensation funds, Mein said that the DC cannot be removed unless the allegations are proved.
Pressing their demand for the transfer of Dhawan, the AAPSU had on October 15 organised a protest rally from Akashdeep to Tennis Court.
On the construction of Potin to Bopi stretch of TAH, which ran into rough weather again due to land compensation scam, Mein said that the fact-finding committee constituted to look into the matter had submitted its report to the government and construction work along the particular stretch of road would start soon.
The Special Investigation Cell of the State’s police had in July this year arrested former Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner Kemo Lollen, the district’s former Land Revenue and Settlement Officer Bharat Ligu and businessman Likha Maj for their alleged involvement in awarding compensation to fake owners of land acquired for a 30 km stretch of the Trans-Arunachal Highway.