Itanagar: While asserting that the landlocked frontier state could meet up the challenges in connectivity sector to some extent due to ‘blessings’ from the Narendra Modi-led dispensation at the Centre, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday told the Assembly that there is lots of work to be done in this area.
Participating in the discussion on motion of thanks on the Governor’s address, the Chief Minister said, “We could add 2,482 km of National Highways and dedicate the same to the people during the last 6 years with an increase of 138% in the National Highways network in the State.”
He added that because of the unprecedented development in the road sector, Arunachal could see the Super car rallies these days (one such event was held last year and proposal is on cards for another this year).
Under PMGSY, around 6,755 kms of rural roads, covering 170 habitations, have been built under the central flagship program, which was launched by the then Atal Behari Vajpayee Govt, he said, adding that “Hopefully, we will accomplish the remaining roads work with assistance from Govt of India under PMGSY-III once it is cleared by the Centre.”
Apart from the Donyi Polo Airport Itanagar at Hollongi, which was inaugurated by PM Modi on November 9 last year, Arunachal has three more functional airports at Pasighat, Tezu and Ziro connected under the Centre’s regional connectivity scheme UDAN.
Hollongi airport was built within three years and dedicated to the people, fulfilling the long-cherished dream of people, which showed the Centre’s commitment to place Itanagar under country’s aviation map, Khandu said, adding that before Modi-led BJP government came to power, the previous regimes failed to do so.
He also informed that three more airstrips at Mechuka, Tuting and Vijoyanagar will be made operational ‘soon’ and flight services operated under UDAN scheme to Itanagar or any other feasible areas to give boost to the air connectivity sector.
“The Centre is considering our proposal for three more Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) in Dirang in West Kameng, Anini in Dibang Valley and the third in Upper Subansiri district,” he further said.
On rail connectivity front, Khandu told the House that Centre has already given its in-principle approval to connect all the foothill areas of Arunachal with the rail network, adding that survey works for Aalo and Tawang sectors have already been completed, while in Pasighat section on-ground work will start very soon.
He also informed that efforts are afoot to provide 4G mobile connectivity to additional 1903 villages by December 2023.
Referring to the decades-old Arunachal-Assam boundary row, the Chief Minister reiterated that he
will have the ‘final’ sitting with all the 12 regional committees before moving his Assam counterpart Himanta Biswa Sarma to solve the vexed boundary issue once and for all.
“Though the matter is pending with the Supreme Court we will try to solve it as early as possible,” he said.
On the APPSC fiasco, Khandu said the government had acted swiftly and taken action after it came to the fore in the last part of August 2022.
Citing the PM’s vision of making India ‘AtmaNirbhar’ (self-reliant), the Chief Minister reiterated that to improve the state economy we should target rural areas focusing on self-help groups, and added that lots of activities have already been carried out in this field.
Before passing the motion by voice vote, the Assembly led by Deputy Speaker Tesam Pongte, who was in the Chair, extended its gratitude to Governor Lt General (Retd) KT Parnaik for addressing the members of the House on Monday last.
The motion of thanks on Governor’s address, which was moved by BJP member Nyato Dukam and seconded by his party colleague Kaling Moyong, was participated by members from both opposition and treasury benches, hailing the government’s achievements during the past one year.