Arunachal observes 31st Statehood Day, as Rajnath Singh announces centre-funded schemes

By Pradeep Kumar Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh) [India], Feb.20 :Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday announced numerous schemes for Arunachal Pradesh on the occasion of its 31st Statehood Day.

Singh, Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawarchand Ghelot, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, Adviser S K Paliwal and other senior officers arrived by a chopper from Guwahati for the event.

They praised Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu for the various development-related projects initiated by his administration.

The Union Home Minister also gave away gold and silver medals to some of the selected awardees. Singh described Khandu as young, dynamic and visionary leader and urged him to create records while marching ahead on the path of progress as India's youngest chief minister.

"There is neither dearth of funds for the most sensitive and important region of north east India, as it is critical for India's economic development, particularly as Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1080-km Indian border with China," he said.

He said that the Indo-China border dispute talks are still work in progress, and added that relations with China are better.

He cited the USD 70 billon worth of bilateral trade between the two nations as an indicator of this. He said state government proposals worth Rs.4,400 crore is being considered on top priority, including police modernisation, setting up of 20 police stations in insurgency affected Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts and a forensic laboratory for the state.

He also decared the three-day Festival of Arunachal open. However, he cautioned that every penny provided by the Centre must be accounted for in a transparent manner, leaving no scope for raising questions.

The Union DoNER Ministry and the Look East Policy are catapulting development in the north east. Road, rail, air and IT communications are vital for growth, Singh said before announcing numerous schemes and projects including: six advanced landing grounds upgraded to airports to facilitate use as civilian airports, permission to fly small planes from Guwahati to Pasighat, 75 percent subsidy for helicopter fares, four-lane highway for Itanagar and a two-lane highway for district headquarters.

Union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari during his recent visit to the state had announced an investment of Rs 50,000 crores within two years, besides declaring four state highways as national highways, massive installation by the BSNL is on to improve telephone and internet connectivity, the foundation stones for rail line to Pasighat and Tezu will be laid soon, and survey for two rail lines, including to Tawang has been ordered.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju sought the whole hearted support of one and all and urged them to rise above caste, creed, religion and region to help the state to march forward.

He insisted on peace for development to take deep root. Chief Minister Kandu expressed confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that his focused approach within short time with 'Team Arunachal' spirit, would result in all round development.

Source: ANI