Arunachal: Highway dept blames MoRTH engineers for the Collapse of NH-415 wall 

Arunachal Pradesh Highway department on Thursday squarely blamed the engineers of the Ministry of road transport & highways (MoRTH) for the engineering defects that led to the collapse of the National Highway 415 retaining wall at D Sector in Itanagar.

In a virtual meeting facilitated by Itanagar Capital Region (ICR) DC Talo Potom, which was attended by the executive engineers of various works departments, including highway, power, PHE, water resources, etc, State PWD Highway EE Nani Tath told the media that “the authority engineers are responsible for the collapse of the retaining wall as it was built based on their approved design.”

He said that, as part of the technical parameters, the central authority engineers, comprising seven members, were supposed to monitor the concrete structures. Tath’s disclosure came following a barrage of criticism against the highway department over the poor quality of work that led to the collapse of the retaining wall. He said that “seepage in the base foundation of the wall resulted in the collapse.”

The collapse of the retaining wall has reportedly had a huge impact on the private residence of one Bengia Kame, who has appealed to the authority to clear the debris as soon as possible, informing that, due to the blockage of the drain, his private residence is being flooded.

On the issue of haphazard earth-cutting in the ICR causing damages to the highway, the DC informed that no one who had engaged in haphazard earth-cutting was spared. However, he opined that the menace would be able to be contained “only if the perpetrators are booked under the Arunachal Pradesh Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 2014.”

Itanagar Municipal Corporation Mayor Tame Phassang raised the issue of poor drainage in Itanagar, and suggested that a particular department should be assigned to construct drains in the capital region.

Itanagar Power Department EE Joram Lali, Naharlagun Power EE Janu Taying, Itanagar PHED EE Tadar Mangku, the Itanagar WRD EE and the Itanagar PWD AE raised the issue of encroachment on electrical poles, pipelines and water channels, besides earth-cutting in the capital region leading to damage of public utilities. The works departments’ representatives appealed to the district administration to look into the issues.