Itagar, April 10: Aruchal Pradesh Governor Lt. Gen (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma has called for strengthening the North East Council (NEC) and make it a ‘Think Tank’ on strategic planning for the region.
Addressing the two-day 64th Plery of NEC at New Delhi chaired by Union Minister of State for DoNER Dr. Jitendra Singh on Friday, the governor said that the NEC should play the role of representative of state governments with union ministries on following up the state projects.
He also emphasised on institutiolizing this function and take forward effectively for overall goal of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’, a Raj Bhawan communiqué informed.
Calling for equal development in every part of the region, Sharma pointed that for strategic reasons and to bring equitable growth and progress, there is a need for more focus on the region north of River Brahmaputra.
“Trans-Brahmaputra connectivity and need based locating and shifting of certain administrative headquarters of the Centre is therefore necessary. It is more so for the sensitive state of Aruchal Pradesh,” he said .
Reiterating that lack of connectivity was the biggest hurdle to the development in the region and is holding up unlocking of its vast economic potential, the governor put forward the immediate requirement of expediting the construction and up-gradation of roads in Aruchal Pradesh involving 5,000 kms.
He said that to achieve it in a reasoble time frame, the capacities of the sState has to be enhanced many fold and processes and procedures streamlined. He suggested that BRO with all its experience in road construction in the mountains is best suited, be concentrated in Himalayas states, while NHAI and other agencies working in other states.
Conveying goodwill of the people to Prime Minister for iugurating the Itagar-Delhi AC Express and Itagar-Guwahati Intercity Express train services, Sharmas stressed on expediting the work on other strategic lines to Tawang and Pasighat in the state.
He also underscored the need for the important projects of Indian Railways, the Bogibeel Bridge to be monitored to ensure that it meets the revised timeline of mid 2017.
“Its completion will be a major factor in the socio-economic development of this region and shall also fill the strategic void in Trans-Brahmaputra movement,” he added.
Sharma also stressed on monitoring to expedite the fil phase of activating the NEC funded Tezu Airport.
Informing that the site for Greenfield Airport at Holongi has been filized and eight Advance Landing Grounds (ALGs) coming up in the border districts of the state, the governor urged upon the NEC to advise the concerned agencies to expedite the work in a time bound manner.
He suggested that until the time the Hollongi Airport project is commissioned, reliable air service from the fully developed Airport at Lilabari must be improved on highest priority.
“In addition to the upcoming ALGs, two more ALGs are required at Koloriang in Kurung Kumey District and Anini in Dibang Valley District. These ALGs need to be developed on priority for strategic reasons,” he stressed.
“The ALGs created must be utilized not only for Defence purpose and carriage of civil passengers and goods, but for ferrying construction materials for infrastructure development also,” he said and suggested that aircraft services be planned simultaneously to avoid any delay in starting the service.
The Governor also emphasised on exploring and harnessing the inland waterways potential in the State.
Highlighting the vast tourism potential of the state, the governor wished that NEC facilitates in harnessing it.
Stating that country’s vision of becoming a developed economy by 2020 and Prime Minister rendra Modi’s ‘Act East’ and ‘Made India’ crusades will depend to a large extent on the enhanced economic cooperation with its extended neighbourhood of South East Asian countries, the governor said that people of the region must prepare themselves to be contributors and main stakeholders in the mission. The North East has to be seen more than a transit route.
Recalling age-old border trades of the people with the neighbouring countries, the Governor stressed on institutiolising it for socio-economic upliftment of the local populous, State and the country.
He suggested for setting up of formal trading mechanism at Pangsau Pass, connecting the State with South East Asian tions and making it a part of Kolkata-Kunming initiative.
He underscored that NEC must take up the issue with the Ministry of Exterl Affairs and find out modalities for providing access to the intertiol neighbours in a regulated manner, the communiqué said. The governor also laid focus on developing the power sector, human resources, skill development and entrepreneurship, telecommunication and fincial inclusion and urged upon the Centre through the NEC for addressing the requirements of the state, the communiqué added.