Mizoram road project yet to get environment, forest clearance

Aizawl, 28 Feb 2020 (NE Now): Mizoram government is yet to get environment and forest clearance for the 87.18 km cross-border road under the ambitious Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMMTTP).

This was informed by state chief minister Zoramthanga in the State Assembly on Thursday.

“Though environment and forest clearance are yet to be obtained, work for the construction of the cross-border road is in progress as clearances have been approved in principle,” the chief minister said in a reply to a written question by independent MLA Andrew H Thangliana.

Zoramthanga, who also the state PWD minister, said forest clearance could not be final due to certain problems.

He said the state PWD was yet to submit Compensatory Afforestation (CA) and Net Present Value (NPV) to the state Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).

The chief minister said that a revised estimate for the project has been submitted to Union Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways (MoRTH) and revised sanctioned is yet to be received.

“Once revised sanction is received, CA and NPV will be submitted to the state CAMPA,” he said, adding that the project passes through 1.9676 sq.km forest area.

He also said that the government would give compensation to agitating landowners, whose lands have been damaged in the ongoing construction.

Earlier in January, Lawngtlai District Land Owners’ Association, an umbrella association of landowners along the cross-border road in Lawngtlai district, had served a stay order to two constructing agencies and imposed strike after the state government allegedly cancelled the Detailed Project Reports (DPR) for compensation amounting to more than Rs 50 crore.

The strike was called off after few days as the state government promised them to take measure to ensure that they received compensations.

The KMMTTP is a bilateral project of the India and Myanmar governments to connect both the countries by sea route and road transport.

Launched by the erstwhile UPA government in 2008, the projected when completed would first link the eastern Indian seaport of Kolkata to Sittwe seaport in Myanmar across the Bay of Bengal, a distance of 539 km.

From Sittwe, the route will continue over river Kaladan to the western Myanmarese town of Paletwa.

Paletwa will then be connected to the India-Myanmar border by a 110-km-long road.

The international border will then be connected by road with southernmost Mizoram’s Lawngtlai town 87.18 km away where National Highway 306 (formerly 54) passes by.

The construction of the road component in Mizoram side began in 2010 and is being worked by two companies – RDS Project Limited and Odisa based Atlanta ARSS (JV).

State PWD officials said that more than 82 per cent of works has been completed so far.

The project is scheduled to be completed by March this year.
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