Itanagar, July 10 (PTI): Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has sought help from North East Council (NEC) for developing connectivity, especially roads, in the state.
Attending a two-day 67th plenary session of NEC at Shillong in Meghalaya yesterday, Khandu said that Arunachal has been lagging behind in most of the socio-economic indicators as compared to the rest of India and even within the Northeast region due to historical neglect, an official release said. “I request the NEC to give more emphasis on connectivity, especially the roads sector,” Khandu said in his address.
Pointing out that Arunachal Pradesh has the lowest density of road network in the North Eastern Region, the chief minister said, on the lines of Central Road Fund, NEC could explore the possibility of forming a separate fund focusing on big road projects in the region.
Pointing out that construction of the Trans-Arunachal Highway project was progressing at a sluggish pace, Khandu urged the ministry to expedite construction of Potin-Pangin stretch.
He added that during a meeting with Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on February 28 this year, it was decided to split the Potin-Pangin stretch in realistic sections to complete the work immediately.
On air connectivity, he said, Our dream of having an airport in the state capital is yet to come true and the people of the state are eagerly waiting for this project to materialize.
“I would like to inform all that my government has finalized the site of the greenfield airport at Hollongi and has reduced the cost of land acquisition and rehabilitation drastically by one-third of the original cost.”
He urged the DoNER Ministry to provide funds for the Greenfield Airport at Hollongi over and above its normative allocation of INR 195.90 crore in the line of Tezu Airport (which is ready for operation) funded by NEC.
He further called for NEC and DoNER Ministrys help for developing tourism, agriculture and allied sector. Besides requesting the NEC to establish a regional Research Institute for Agriculture and Allied Sector in Arunachal Pradesh, Khandu urged the Ministry of DoNER and NEC to provide the state technical support in establishing forward and backward linkages in agriculture and horticulture sector which includes cold chain processing units, agriculture mandis, IT support to implement e-NAM and connecting with potential markets.
While pointing out that the easternmost part of the state comprising Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts was comparatively backward, he said the region needed the Centres special attention for equitable development. On hydropower, the chief minister said the state government has now decided to firmly unleash the huge hydro potential.
Out of the 151 hydropower projects leased, 15 have already been terminated. Of the remaining 136 projects, 38 are below 25 MW and rest 98 projects are in mega category, he said.
We are ready to hand over these projects to PSUs or government undertakings wherever feasible as per mutual terms and conditions,” he added.