March 2, 2024

Guv seeks better connectivity, border development

TAP | Updated: May 29, 2017

NEW DELHI, May 29: Governor PB Acharya, addressing the 66th plenary of NEC on Monday said that the council has since 1971 been a significant and effective platform for discussing and deliberating upon the developmental issues of the region.

Acharya briefed the gathering on the initiatives undertaken by him towards preservation and protection of indigenous tribal culture, tribal scripts, rituals and identity, a report from the PRO said.

The governor urged the members present to consider the proposal of remaining the council as NAMASTE as this acronym includes the names of all the north eastern states of the country.

Recalling the recent visit of the 14th Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh, where he said India is a model for others to follow with a potential to combine its ancient knowledge with modern education in the interest of developing inner peace, the governor said that rapid development in the state, which would go a long way in socio-economic empowerment of the frontier people and the state.

“It will, in turn will guarantee reinforced national security, optimum harnessing of nature’s bounty and economic prosperity of my state, region and the nation as a whole,” he added.

Acharya added that the state being one of significant strategic border area states and in light of the recent developments in relation with China, it is high time to strengthen the infrastructure including road, rail and air connectivity.

He said that unless and until communication network and telecommunication are not upgraded, the State cannot progress and this is true for the whole of North East.

The governor appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Railways in putting Arunachal Pradesh on the railway map of India and for starting the Naharlagun Shatabdi Express.

He hoped railways will provide all-weather and reliable transportation up in the hills and urged the ministry to also expedite the remaining projects including lines to Tawang, Aalo and Parashuramkund. “It will facilitate in transportation of organic horticultural produce, tourists and pilgrims to religious places and safeguarding the frontiers,” he said.

The governor conveyed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for inaugurating the country’s longest (9.15 km) Dhola-Sadiya Bridge as it would instil sense of security and promote economical development of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.

Stating that roads are the arteries for peace, development and prosperity of any state, he said Arunachal Pradesh has the least road density in the country despite being the largest state in the North East.

The governor urged upon the Ministry of Road and Transport to expedite the much-awaited Trans Arunachal Highway and requested the union government to actively consider the proposed Arunachal Frontier Highway and East West Corridor.

Acharya said Arunachal Pradesh is one of the few states without civilian air connectivity for fixed wing aircrafts. He appreciated the efforts of NEC in funding the Tezu airport project being implemented by Airports Authority of India and urged the forum to start flight service to Tezu as it would connect the far eastern districts of Lohit, Namsai, Anjaw, Lower Dibang Valley and Changlang.

He said that the state cabinet has approved to forward the proposal for construction of Greenfield airport in Itanagar as recommended by the technical committee constituted by Ministry of Civil Aviation and urged the ministry to expedite the implementation of this project.

Acharya added that Inland waterways have always been the cheapest means of transportation and the north east region has many large and small rivers providing facilities for water transport, especially in their plains sections.

“In Arunachal, the rivers Siang, Lohit, Subansiri, Burhi Dihing, Noa Dihing, and Tirap are used for navigation by small country boats in those stretches where there are no rapids. This sector needs to be explored and harnessed by reviving the use of National Waterway 2 (Brahmaputra),” he said.

He emphasised that Arunachal Pradesh is a important seat of Buddhism and Hinduism as it has the 400-year-old Ganden Namgyal Lhatse Monastery in Tawang, the Golden Pagado at Tengapani, Parashuramkund on the banks of river Lohit, Malinithan associated with legend of Krishna and his consort Rukmini, a natural Siva Lingam at Ziro, and Bhismaknagar to name a few.

He requested the Union Ministry of Tourism to promote Arunachal Pradesh through all the forums and include the state in the National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spirituality Augmentation Drive scheme.

The governor advised including the organised dormant energy in the state, such as senior citizens, women groups, ex-military personnel, university professors, university students’ organizations, Red Cross societies, NCC and NSS, Bharat Scouts and Guides, empowered homemakers as independent third-party for identifying, motivating, implementing, monitoring and auditing of state and Central government projects.

Through the NE forum, he requested the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship for setting-up of projects in the state, as the country needs to equip its workforce with employable skills and knowledge to make India a developed economy.

“As per the norms of UGC, it is mandatory to include skill development in the curriculum. Skill building is a powerful tool to empower individuals and improve their social acceptance. The challenge lies not only in a huge quantitative expansion of facilitiesfor skill training, but also in raising their quality,” the governor said.

The state has empanelled 54 vocational training providers, has six Industrial Training Institutes, conducted training for capacity building and skill development and organised other short-term employable skill development training sponsored by NEC and other agencies and organisations.

“Arunachal Pradesh has a roadmap for skill development in the state and proposes to set up ITI in every district, Livelihood Mission School in every assembly constituency, 100 Multi Skill Development Centres, i.e., one in every block, setting up of Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Kendra under Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, Institute for Training of Trainers and to organise special skill development training programme for self employment for the youth under Border Area Development Programme,” Acharya said.

Focusing on healthcare and education, the governor said that the Centre should consider providing adequate amount of funds and resources to create ample state-of-the-art institutions in science, medical science, engineering, arts, management and other specialised streams in the state.

He strongly advocated for private public partnerships in education, health, agriculture and allied sectors, as it will make the projects reach the beneficiaries to encourage positive participation of the private individuals.

Acharya briefed about the history and condition of the Puroik community till 1994, and the initiatives taken by the state government through him in empowering them and constitution of Autonomous Puroik Welfare Board for the Puroiks, one of the most downtrodden and backward communities.

He called upon the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment for a compassionate approach while addressing the issue of social welfare and NEC should coordinate so as to ensure that the desired benefits reach the targeted people.

Drawing attention to the plight of labourers working in the state under various agencies, the governor stressed that the Centre, NEC and state government must provide reasonable accommodation, drinking water, health facilities for the labourers/ workers and recreation and educational facilities for their children. “These labourers must be covered under Food Security Act, provided basic provisions granted under the Act,” he said.

Highlighting the challenges of drug menace in the state, he requested the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for modernising the existing drug de-addiction centres at Pasighat, Tezu, Namsai, Changlang, Papum Pare and to establish a new drug de-addiction centre at Khonsa.

Sharing inputs on militancy activities in the State and challenges in mitigating it, the governor urged the Centre for rehabilitation package and peace bonus to end this menace of insurgency, the report added.