Mizoram MP seeks action against BRO

Aizawl, Jan 12 (PTI): A Mizoram MP has written to the Centre, seeking disciplinary action against the Border Roads Organisation over the alleged delay in commencing construction work for a road project along the India-Myanmar border. The road between Sangau and Saisichhuah in Lawngtlai, the state’s southernmost district, was sanctioned by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) through the North East Council (NEC) in 2020.

A Mizoram MP has written to the Centre, seeking disciplinary action against the Border Roads Organisation over the alleged delay in commencing construction work for a road project along the India-Myanmar border. The road between Sangau and Saisichhuah in Lawngtlai, the state’s southernmost district, was sanctioned by the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) through the North East Council (NEC) in 2020.

The BRO, however, stated that the construction work could not be commenced due to land issue and the problem was compounded as people of several villages demanded that the road be constructed in their areas.

Rajya Sabha member from Mizoram, K. Vanlalvena, told PTI that he submitted a letter to Union Defence Secretary Giridhar Aramane on Wednesday.

The proposed border road, when completed, will help people reach Myanmar Chin state’s capital Hakha.

In his letter to Aramane, the Mizoram MP said the DoNER ministry sanctioned Rs 66 crore for the project and awarded the contract to the BRO.

“The BRO has not completed construction of even a metre even as 26 months have already passed since the project was approved. The DoNER ministry is planning to withdraw the sanction as the time given for the completion of work has lapsed,” Vanlalvena said.

“As this border road is not only very important for the Mizo tribal but also vital in the interest of the national security, appropriate disciplinary action be initiated against the BRO due to serious lapse on its part,” the MP said in his letter.

SP Kolipey, the officiating chief engineer of ‘Project Pushpak’ of the BRO, said that the project could not be executed as the “state government did not provide land for the construction of the border road as requested by the NEC”.

“We are ready to commence the project. We require land for the construction of the border road. The problem is between the NEC and the state government. The problem was compounded as people of several villages demanded that the road be constructed in their areas,” Kolipey told PTI.

Recently, the NEC asked the state government to provide land free of cost for the construction of the proposed border road, he added.

A large section of the people of Myanmar, who have taken refuge in the state after fleeing their country following a military coup in February in 2021, belong to the Chin, also known as the Zo, community. They share the same ancestry and culture as the Mizos of Mizoram. Chin is also a state in western Myanmar.

Six Mizoram districts – Champhai, Siaha, Lawngtlai, Serchhip, Hnahthial and Saitual- share a 510 km long international border with Myanmar’s Chin state. 

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