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New road after Behali attack

Trucks stranded at Chariduar in Sonitpur district. File picture

Tezpur, Feb. 23: The January 29 attack inside the Behali reserved forest along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border that left 15 people dead has forced the Assam government to build a new road at Chauldhua in Sonitpur district.

The new road will assist quick deployment of security forces in case of any future flare-ups in the border area.

The state government had drawn flak for the delay by the police in reaching the spot, which was deep inside the forest.

The January 29 incident was the result of a border dispute between Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Chauldhua, which is under Borgang police station, is about 130km from Tezpur and 210km from Guwahati.

Official sources said the forest department had sent a proposal for construction of the road connecting Dikalmukh Tinali with Chaualdhua to the state home department. The length of the proposed road will be about 20km.

The new road will also connect Naharjan and Thandapani.

Currently, the road connectivity in the area is very poor.

Divisional forest officer (East) A.K. Dey told The Telegraph that the total cost of project would be Rs 3.6 crore.

The department had earlier submitted a similar proposal worth Rs 1.62 crore but it was not sanctioned, he said.

Clearance from the Union ministry of environment and forest will be necessary to build the road because it will pass through Behali reserve forest.

A survey will have to be carried out before giving the construction order.

Constructing the road will be a time-consuming affair as a good number of bridges and culverts will have to be built. And, it is very difficult to carry out construction in the area during the rainy season.

The forest department is currently patrolling the area, which is an elephant corridor, on foot.

An official source said the state PWD would construct the road, which will be handed over to the forest department after completion.

Following the Behali incident, the state government has also decided to set up four forest protection camps at Radhasu, Dekal Tiniali, Chauldhua and Naharjan.


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