Arunachal, 13th October: A Highway construction company, M/s Shivam Pvt. Ltd., was blamed for a landslide in Arunachal that killed two and destroyed 22 houses. The Galo People’s Forum (GPF) blamed the highway executing agency for the casualties due to the landslide that occurred in Ego village in Leparada district on 17th September. Two people lost their lives and dozens were rendered homeless, and properties were lost due to flood.

Addressing a press conference, GPF President Doya Boje claimed that the devastation caused in Ego was “a manmade disaster, due to haphazard earth cutting in an ongoing highway construction under NHIDCL by M/s Shivam Pvt. Ltd.” A heavy cloudburst caused the landslide in Arunachal, which in turn caused the flood that damaged numerous properties and paddy fields. The total cost of the highway construction was 140 crores, with a time limit of six years.

Despite such a disaster occurring in the area, it is unfortunate that no government official initiated to restore the electricity and drinking water supply and other essential services, leaving them at the mercy of nature“, Boje claimed. He also said that the life of locals highly affected as essential services like electricity, drinking water supply and road connectivity have been snapped.

He added that the body of one missing person, named Bato Doye, is yet to retrieved and that DA has called off the search operation abruptly. He demanded a special package of not less than Rs. 10 crores for Ego village. “The Chief Minister bring the PWD Minister should visit the flood-affected area once to reassure the devastated people and take stock of the situation“, he said.

GRF not only demanded an inquiry community to know the exact reason for the disaster but also stated that the government provide ex gratia payment of Rs. 50 lakhs each to the nearest kith and kin of both the deceased. It demanded the DA to ensure a foolproof assessment of the total losses and the damages caused.

GRF general secretary Reken Ingo also questioned why the district administration suspended the search of the missing person. He also said the GRF had already cautioned the company about the threat of landslide due to random earth-cutting. But it said that the highway is 98kms and has been sanctioned under the NHIDCL. The highway is being constructed jointly by three firms: M/s JKM  Pvt. Ltd., M/s Shivam Pvt. Ltd., and M/s TK Engineer & Consortium Pvt. Ltd.