Miao-Vijoynagar road to be built in 3 years: BRO

I find this article by Pradeep Kumar very informative on the MV Road, except for two factual errors.

  • The first, “another expedition led by major Sumeer Singh in February 1961 which were unsuccessful. The second team could reach Gandhigram, 22-km short of Vijoynagar.” Expedition by Major Sumeer Singh was not unsuccessful. In fact, it he who contacted our villagers for the first time on 7th May 1961 which happened to be a Sunday.
  • The second, “The settlement of retired AR personnel there had began from 07.05.1961… “. The settlement started from 1967 and stopped by the state government in 1971. This 07.05.1961 was the date when the expedition team first arrived in Gandhigram village.

Meanwhile there is a goodnews about the Vijoynagar’s Advanced Landing Ground that was made operational on 18 Sep 2019 after a gap of 3 years. See report in AP Times (20 Sep 2019), entitled “Vijoynagar ALG reopens after 3 years”. The CM Pema Khandu shared the landing of an AN-32 plane in Vijoynagar.

Source:

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The road that was in 1972

The road built in 1972 was motorable till 1980 and then state governor KAA Raja had reached Vijoynagar with a fleet of 12 jeeps, but the first and the last vehicles seen there. Changlang DC Dr. S. B. Deepak Kumar had walked through this road in December 2009 and strongly recommended its construction. Governor Gen (Retd) J. J. Singh during his visit to Miao on 07.08.10 had directed the PWD to start construction of road work to complete it by December 2011 and had reopened in March 2011 after 36 years.

Eight company vehicles, consisting of bulldozers & trucks had arrived at Shidi on 10.01.12 and walked for four days to reach Miao.  The BRO on 01.02.11 had joined the bid for survey of 213-km Nampong-Vijoynagar road.

Vijoynagar in nature’s lap

The 7th Assam Rifles had launched expedition to demarcate border of India and Myanmar from Miao after independence in June 1960 and another expedition led by major Sumeer Singh in February 1961 which were unsuccessful. The second team could reach Gandhigram, 22-km short of Vijoynagar. However, 3rd expedition (Srijit-II) led by Major General AS Gaurya had begun in October 1961 and reached Chankan Pass and later Vijoynagar on 27.11.61 to hoist Indian tri-colour and named the place after his son. Since then the AR has been guarding the frontier. Land-locked Vijoynagar, called Daudi by local residents Lisu (Yobin), spread across 8,000 sqkm, is the remotest inhabited land of India.

By Pradeep Kumar

NAHARLAGUN, Sept 13: An all weather 157-km Miao-Vijoynagar strategic road in Changlang district would be completed in three years once fund is sanctioned after submission of detailed project report (DPR), a top ranking BRO engineer told this daily on Thursday.

Vijonagar, located along Indo-China-Myanmar tri-junction, is only remotest circle headquarters of Arunachal Pradesh without road link, though its advanced landing ground (ALG) was upgraded and inaugurated by former governor Gen (Retd) J J Singh on 18.11.11. Its elected representative Kamlung Mosang (present UD Minister) has been making all out efforts while Governor Brig. (Retd) B.D. Mishra has put his all weight behind the road.

The governor, who had conducted an aerial survey of the road on September one last, had also raised it in his address to NEC, saying “lack of robust land, air, internet and mobile network connectivity are biggest problem of the state which derails developmental needs and security parameters.”

The reconnaissance of the road begun by two teams on Thursday, as assured by BRO additional director general (East) P.K.H. Singh to the governor and Chief Minister Pema Khandu during a review meeting at Guwahati on September 9 last, the source said, adding one team was airdropped on the higher reaches by an IAF helicopter.

The road survey is being conducted by expert BRO engineers and state’s senior RWD engineers to decide the technology to be adopted.

Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, while reviewing work progress of the road in a meeting with RWD Minister Honchun Ngandam and RWD CE-cum-PMGSY CEO D Nyodu on 23.07.19, had directed to expedite the road works.

Pointing out peculiar soil conditions and shortfall in sanctioned DPR for which new alignment has to be made, Ngandam had said and sought Rs 39 crore additional fund to which the DyCM had nodded. Harsh topography, repeated cloud bursts and frequent rainfall, and peculiar soil conditions, forest regulations, slope stabilization of hillside were challenges, Nyodu had told.

It may be recalled that while launching two-month-long Arunachal Rising campaign on 07.12.18, the CM had announced to build the raid on priority. Huge horticulture-agriculture potentials of Vijoynagar could not be tapped for lack of proper surface and air communication, he had said. Tough former chief minister, late Dorjee Khandu had approved its survey and DPR under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana but affected and delayed due to improper work allocation, he had added.

The settlement of retired AR personnel there had began from 07.05.1961 for which their population is almost 50% of the total while 45% civilians are mainly Lisu and rest officials on duty.. Besides SIB, Assam Rifles camp and state police, there are Govt primary schools and one secondary school to cater to needs of students of 16 villages. This place was little known to outside world prior to 1961 and the ALG was developed during 1962.

The inhabitants for want of road connectivity totally depend on supply of essential items by An-32 aircrafts which fly either from Dibrugarh and Miao but are very irregular with limited haulage capacity. That is why salt and sugar are sold at minimum Rs 200 per kg while a bag of cement costs about Rs 7,000.

With Assam Rifles having limited medical facilities, patients face toughest challenge in emergency medical cases to go out for treatment. Miao, the nearest town 157-km away, takes about 6-days walk by foot march or less on elephant.

 

Miao Vijoynagar Road: Latest Push 6 Years After Grand Funding

The government’s will to build MV Road is beginning to feel among the people. The last two weeks or so, there are a series of high level meetings in the Capital. It all started with the announcement that the Governor will visit on 15 July 2019. That did not happened.

Below is a series of events, with chronology from bottom up.

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Arunachal Guv calls for timely completion of Miao-Vijyanagar road

Maximum work must be done during the rain-free months from November to February and the road must be made functional, the governor told state minister Kamlung Mossang who met him at the Raj Bhavan to brief him on the progress of the work.

The governor said the work must be completed within a timeframe for the benefit of the people living there. (North East Today, 17 Nov 2020).

SBL to recommend clearance for Miao-Vijaynagar road, accepts proposal to declare Kaiser-i-Hind state butterfly

11 Jan 2020 (AP Times)

The 22nd State Board for Wildlife (SBL) that met on Friday evening under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Pema Khandu resolved to recommend wildlife clearance for the much-awaited Miao-Vijaynagar road in Changlang district, which passes through the famed Namdapha Tiger Reserve.

The board accepted the proposal to realign the road at two stretches – which would help reduce the length of the road considerably – owing to “unfeasibility of maintenance along the said two stretches.”

Gov briefs min on Miao-Vijoynagar road

November 25, 2019 (AP Times)

NEW DELHI, Nov 24: Arunachal Governor BD Mishra met union Environment, Forest & Climate Change Minister, Prakash Javadekar, on the sideline of the 50th Conference of Governors here on Sunday and briefed the minister on the restoration of the Miao-Vijoynagar road, in Changlang district, and its handing over to the BRO for maintenance.

Holding discussions related to forests in Arunachal, the governor said that “environmental impact assessment requires a review as some important projects, particularly roads, are delayed due to guidelines for environmental protection and conservation goals.”

GoAP aims to achieve most of developmental targets by 2024: Gov

8 Jan 2020 (AP Times)

The governor stressed on the strategic importance of the border areas and the need look into the requirements of those living in such areas. He informed that the government is working on the 157-km strategic Miao-Vijaynagar road project in Changlang district, in association with the Border Roads Organisation.

Governor, CM review projects

20 Nov 2019 (AP Times)

The Governor “Besides stressing on expediting the road projects, he emphasized the need to preserve the tiger reserves in Namdapha forest in Changlang district.”

Taking Road Connectivity to the last person: CM

17 October 2019, also appeared in AP Times titled “Gov, CM chair meeting to review Miao-Vijoynagar road project”.

MV Road - 18 Oct 2019

CM’s Twitter Message

8 Sep 2019 (Ref)

MV road - 9 sep 2019

This matter appeared in Assam Sentinel, 11 Sep 2019 entitled “BRO to Begin Inspection of Miao-Vijoynagar Road in Changlang District”. It seems that BRO is given additional responsibility such as “inspections” whatever that may involve. And I heard from many people that this survey team went out to survey on the 12 Sep as promised.

Joint Survey?

While appreciating Governor and CM’s effort I failed to understand why they want to conduct a joint survey of BRO and RWD.

Pema

State’s agenda for NEC plenary session discussed

4 Sep 2019 (AP Times)

Sharing the observations he made during his recent visit to Vijoynagar, Miao, Jairampur, Nampong and Pangsau Pass in Changlang district with the chief minister, the governor reiterated the need to expedite the construction of the Miao-Vijoynagar road and inauguration of trade and commerce activities at the Indo-Myanmar haats in Pangsau Pass.

Miao-Vijoynagar road to be constructed by all means: Governor

VIJOYNAGAR, Aug 30:Governor BD Mishra has assured the people of Vijoynagar circle in Changlang district that the Miao-Vijoynagar road “will be constructed by all means.”

Governor discusses on strategic road with RWD minister

22 August 2019 (AP Times)

ITANAGAR, Aug 21: Rural Works Department Minister Honchun Ngandam called on Governor BD Mishra at the Raj Bhavan here on Wednesday and apprised him regarding the much-needed construction of the road from Miao to Vijoynagar in Changlang district.
They discussed the national importance of the road and also the road importance for the people located in the far-flung areas on the international border of India and Myanmar and gave emphasis on speedy construction of the Miao-Vijoynagar road as per the stipulated specifications and its early completion, preferably by the end of the current financial year.

They noted that with the construction of this road there will also be substantial care and improvement of flora and fauna in the Namdapha National Park, besides effective surveillance and control on poaching activity, if any, in the area.

They also opined that the safe animal passages and corridors for the free movement of animals within the park should be fully protected.

Governor, CM emphasize need for proper road network

14 August 2019 (AP Times)

… The governor commended the CM for according priority to development and public welfare, and shared details of his meetings with ministers and officers of the rural works, the environment & forests and the planning departments, besides the BSNL, regarding the strategic Miao-Vijoynagar road. …

DoNER Sanctions

7 August 2019

… the ministry has also sanctioned Rs. 6.23 Cr for FDR and strengthening of pavement surface, bridges and other works at Miao to Vijaynagar Road in Changlang District… Read more.

Governor holds high-level meet on Miao-Vijoynagar road

24 July 2019

ITANAGAR, Jul 24: Governor of Arunachal Pradesh Dr BD Mishra convened a high level meeting here at the Raj Bhavan to discuss in detail about the long pending Miao-Vijoynagar road construction issue. Read more

DCM calls for early construction of Miao-Vijaynagar road

23 July 2019

ITANAGAR, Jul 23: Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein has called for constructing the Miao-Vijaynagar road in Changlang district “on a war footing.” … He said the government is ready to provide an additional fund of Rs 39 crore for realignment and construction of culverts and bridges, as sought by the department. …Read more

CM, governor review developmental activities

20 July 2019

ITANAGAR, Jul 20: The governor and the CM reviewed various developmental activities, programmes and ongoing projects in the state. They discussed expediting the Miao-Vijoynagar road project, planning for the next academic session of the sainik school in Niglok in East Siang district, and the programmes and functioning of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission. Read more

Mosang, Mishra discuss welfare measures for Vijoynagar

11 July 2019

ITANAGAR, Jul 11: Civil Supplies Minister Kamlung Mosang called on Governor BD Mishra at the Raj Bhavan here on 11 July and the two discussed matters related to the welfare of the people of Vijoynagar administrative circle in Changlang district.

…Acknowledging that Vijoynagar remains cut off all through the year, and is extremely inaccessible during the rainy season, Mishra asked Mosang to “reactivate work on the Miao-Vijoynagar road at the earliest,” and said he would like to chair a meeting on the issue on 15 July. Read more… and also in Dawnlitpost.

Tapir Gao speaks on MV Road in Parliament

9 July 2019

The other initiative is by MP Tapir Gao in Parliament during the Budget discussion on 9 July 2019. This is the first time an MP talked about Vijoynagar area.

MV Road as of October 2013

Last week a relative of mine came from Shidi to Miao. He walked all the way, all the 157 km. He did the same even on his way back to the village except for the 22 miles they could hire a pick up truck.

In reality the road remains in the same condition since its inauguration by Hon’ble Rural Minister, Jairam Ramesh, on 19 February 2013, Miao.

News appeared that the Minister will visit Vijoynagar for laying another foundation stone there in June. It was postponed to October 5. Again this did not happen. Let’s see when that will become a reality.

Only a question come to my mind: Why such delay?

  • Is it that our Vijoynagar public is too quiet, doesn’t seem to really care about it?
  • Is it because the State Govt. is not efficient on follow up with the Rural Minister?
  • Or is it because the Central Govt is not releasing the promised fund under PMYGS?

Nothing is clear. What can we do to gain clarity on this?

Earlier posts on MV Road

  1. MV Road – after inauguration
  2. Miao – Vijoynagar Road: Sign of completion

What Kind of MLA Do We Need?

The last two decades of our franchise exercise did not meet the aspirations of our people to reality. The two leaders we have had during this period, Samchom Ngemu and Kamlung Mossang, have not given sufficient priority to our needs. Look at this:

  • Scheduled Tribe (ST) Status: Both did deliver the desperate need for ST. They just did sketchy attempts and clearly did not take our case seriously. Now we know the status of our ST is in a mess. Particularly, I was surprised to hear Kamlung lying to our public about the ST status, again and again. Plus at one point he has convinced some of our public leaders that ST is secondary; PRC is important (a non sense).

  • Miao – Vijoynagar Road: The road was through once and few four-wheeled vehicles plied between Dec 2012 and Feb 2013. Later, the GoAP secured PMGSY funds for its construction, which remains frozen to this day. My point is, it took two decades to initiate construction since our voting rights was restored. That too, not by political process, but by the then Deputy Commissioner, Dr. S.B. Deepak Kumar, combined with high recommendation of the Gen (Rtd) J. J. Singh, Governor of Arunachal Pradesh. So where were our local representatives who held Cabinet roles in GoAP?

  • Land Demarcation with the Namdapha National Park: They have no idea how to resolve this issue. You cannot rely on them. I don’t know Samchom’s position on this issue, but Kamlung encouraged the villagers of Ngwazakha to continue even upto 27th Mile. But when the actual dispute arose with the wildlife and administration in Nov 2011, he was no where.

I clearly see they are no hope for our future. If they cannot give solutions to our basic survival and identity needs as above, how can they bring developments which are above survival?

We need visionary leaders who can shape the direction of our community and the lives of the people under Miao Assembly Constituency. Someone who can address our survival and identity needs and also provide solutions to our other struggles in the areas of medical (health), education, stronger administration, security and peace in the region.

My urge to all our people is to be very cautious in how we go about in the next State Assembly election. Use discretion and be wise. Let us not be waylaid by offers and incentives, thereby losing the community. Let our dreams live.

PM Package for Vijoynagar (2007 – 2009)

Between 2007 and 2009, the following sanctions were done under the Prime Minister’s package for Vijoynagar area. More can be view in this Department of Planning (GoAP).

The PM’s packages are monitored by NABCONS (Third Party Monitoring) and they have given their 2nd Qtr Reports, as shown “STATUS” in table.

PROJECT

DEPTT.

BUDGET

STATUS

WRSB over Dihing river between Buddhist Mandir to Vijoynagar

RWD

49.19 lakhs

100%

MHS over Ngonalo at Vijoynagar

HYDRO

344.47 lakhs

31%

Miao-Vijoynagar Road (Consultancy Services for environmental impact assessment and clearance from Central Ministry)

PWD

28.71 lakhs

0%

Miao-Vijoynagar Road (C/O Steel Bridges at 50.65 Km, Span 18.75 mtr)

PWD

20.82 lakhs

64%

The only project that has been completed at the time of their 2nd Quarter was the bridge over Dihing River. I wonder what bridge might be there at the cost of 49 lakhs. The other three have not been done. Especially note the consultancy services for MV Road, which has 0% completion.

Miao-Vijoynagar Road: News Report

For the first time ever, the news on Miao-Vijoynagar Road (MV Road) was covered by the Frontier News (Published on Youtube, 21 February 2013). Good details were highlighted:

  • The vivid picture of the condition of this road (muddy areas, huge truck getting stuck and travelers pull/push).
  • General problem of the public: scarcity of essential commodities, lack of medical facilities, non attendance of school teachers, struggles of police in emergency cases.
  • Little bit about Nepali settlers living there. They have promised much by government, but nothing good was done for them.
  • ST issues Lisu/Yobin face (projected as muddled with the Chakma problem of 1980s

Though, there is no information given about the reporter, but I greatly appreciate the effort he/ she has done to highlight our issues. All the best to this reporter!

Watch this news on Youtube:

Miao – Vijoynagar Road: Sign of completion

Lasted updated: 22 February 2013

For the last three years, there were “patch” works on Miao-Vijoynagar Road (MV Road). There were small release of funds, constructors just push around mud and manage to pass the trucks and bulldozers. No drainages, bridges were constructed. The road is useful only in winter.

INDICATIONS FOR GOOD ROAD

Now there are good indications that there is definite plan to complete this road:

  • PMGSY sanction huge amount, Rs 268 crore on 22 January 2013.
  • Jairam Ramesh, Union Rural Minister, laid foundation stone on 19 February. He promised the road will be completed in three years.
  • Clear plans to build 25 bridges and 600 culverts.
  • The road is centrally sponsored project and hence “middle men” cannot meddle around.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT MV ROAD:

  • This is the longest road ever granted under PMGSY.
  • About 100 km (under Namdapha) will be gravel road and only 57 km piece road.
  • First time ever, MV Road is in national dailies.

OFF SIDE: Few negative points or uncertainties I see

  • About 70% of the road are not tar road. Speed vehicle ride will be a drawback. The Central Government listened to Namdapha Wildlife Authorities. Of course, we did not even present our case.
  • There is no information about the execution body. Is it PWD or someone else?
  • Be prepared to see unwanted: there are many roads half constructed roads under PMGSY on Miao – Jagun Road. Someone told me there is even a road between Kharsang and Jairampur on MAP, not on GROUND.
  • AP Times reported a concern of Jairam Ramesh for the many uncompleted projects under PMGSY.

REFERENCES

Ramesh to join Statehood Day celebrations (18 February 2013, AP Times

Centre approves two vital roads for Arunachal (22 January 2013, Times of India).

PMGSY roads to link Lada, Vijayanagar with rest of Arunachal (21 January 2013, AP Times).

China ‘push’ gets Arunachal Pradesh roads (by Rahul Karmakar, 21 February 2013, Hindustan Times).

Miao-Vijaynagar road foundation laid (by Pranjal Baruah, 21 February 2013, Times of India).

(Side note: all news writers misspell Vijoynagar as Vijaynagar)