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Arunachal outfit to call on Gadkari for cancelling highway contract

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NewsGram Staff Writer

New Delhi: The Wancho community from Arunachal Pradesh has geared up to meet union Minister Nitin Gadkari and ask for cancellation of a tender given to a Gujarat-based company to construct a 47.12-km highway in their state.

The community leaders are likely to meet union Road Transport and Highway minister Nitin Gadkari on October 8.

The community has alleged that Monte Carlo company was given the tender to construct the Longding-Kanubari trans highway early this year. Instead of carrying out the work itself it has sub-contracted the work to a local company named Nabam Tulon, months before the work was to start.

“We want real development in Longding as we have suffered for long. If Monte Carlo company is unable to execute the construction of the Kanubari-Longding highway then why did it participate in the tendering process?” said Nokchai Boham, head of Wancho community.

“Why is it handing over the work now to a local company close to Chief Minister Nabam Tuki. We will meet highway minister Nitin Gadkari soon,” he added.

The community has also expressed disappointment that many projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) being executed by contractors from outside the district have deprived the local contractors of this opportunity and that the quality of the work is often compromised.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi said: “the Arunachal government has only a role in the land acquisition. As the tender was given by the central government’s PSU, so it is for them to deal with it.”

AK Srivastava, executive engineer of Monte Carlo, said: “Since I joined this company, the work was given on sub-contract to Nabam Tulon for the construction of the highway. Whatever the norm is, as of now, the work will be carried on by the Nabam Tulon company only.”

Following the issue, the Wancho People’s Committee on Friday prevented the survey team of Nabam Tulon company, who arrived in Longding to start the planning of the highway construction.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Holy Dip in Garbage Floating Ganges River: A big Cause of Concern for Hindus

The pristine waters of the Ganges river as it gushes down the Himalayas have long turned into a toxic sludge due to garbage, untreated sewage and industrial waste dumped into it

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A pile of garbage lies on the riverbank along the Ganges riverfront known as "Har ki Pauri," the most sacred spot in the Hindu holy town of Haridwar where devotees throng. (A. Pasricha/VOA)

On a gray monsoon morning, Darshana Kapoor picks her way gingerly through the slush on the riverbank after taking a dip in the Ganges River in Haridwar town, one of the most revered spots for Hindus.

But the ritual bath that Hindus believe absolves a lifetime of sins was not an uplifting experience for her. “My faith brought me here, but when I see the garbage floating in the river, I felt so bad. I had to scrub myself,” she said.

Haridwar, India

She was not exaggerating. The Central Pollution Control Board has said that the water of the Ganges at Haridwar is not fit for bathing.

The murky condition of the mighty Ganges is a letdown for thousands of devotees who flock daily to the pilgrim town, some for a ritual dip, some to immerse the ashes of their loved ones or to take part in a colorful prayer ceremony held every evening to celebrate the Ganges, which devotees call “Maa” or mother.

Hundreds of Hindus take a ritual dip in the Ganges at Haridwar believing it absolves a lifetime of sins. (A. Pasricha/VOA)
Hundreds of Hindus take a ritual dip in the Ganges at Haridwar believing it absolves a lifetime of sins. (A. Pasricha/VOA)

These devotees were hoping to see results from a flagship $3 billion initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revive the river, particularly in Hinduism’s holiest towns such as Haridwar and Varanasi.

The pristine waters of the river as it gushes down the Himalayas have long turned into a toxic sludge due to garbage, untreated sewage and industrial waste dumped into it as it courses through booming pilgrim and industrial towns along the vast, populous plains of North India. It is a huge concern because the river is a water source for some 400 million people.

After his vic