ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has stressed the need to augment fast track communication links like rail, road and air including information technology to bring in transformational change in the process of development in the State.
Attending the fifth governing council meeting of NITI Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday, Khandu briefed on the present status of the road, rail and air projects ongoing in the State.
He also made special mention on plans for rain water harvesting and water management in the Himalayan State, an official communiqué informed here on Sunday.
While speaking on aspirational district programme, the Chief Minister briefed Niti Aayog on the achievements and challenges faced by the State in carrying out the programme. Security matters were also discussed with support sought from the Centre in modernizing police.
Khandu also threw light on the enormous strength and potential of the State in the field of agriculture and allied sectors, tourism and hydro power which he said if systematically harnessed would lead the State to new heights.
The Chief Minister emphasized the need for a structural reform in the agriculture sector so that it transforms into a potential economic sector. He sought continued support from Centre in the sector.
Stating that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Centre has reinvigorated the policy orientation towards the North-East which has resulted in a palpable change in the support being extended from the Centre to catalyse growth of Arunachal Pradesh, Khandu hoped for continued support from government particularly in the field of communication network.
Stressing the need for a permanent bureaucracy in Arunachal, Khandu requested Niti Aayog to consider a separate IAS cadre for the State. Justifying his stand, the Chief Minister said that the State still under the Union Territory cadre hampers the pace of development. “Owing to vastness and diversities, the officers posted need at least two to three years to understand the pulse and needs of the State. By the time they know, they are being transferred, hampering development,” Khandu reasoned.
The Chief Minister urged the Centre to consider relaxation in guidelines of national flagship programmes in respect to Arunachal Pradesh. “The tough and inaccessible terrain of the state makes it difficult for agencies to implement the programmes as per guidelines,” he said.
Stating that the State has been debarred and ignored of foreign fundings, the Chief Minister requested Niti Aayog to device a mechanism to overcome this hurdle and compensate Arunachal Pradesh accordingly. Khandu, later in the day, called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed on a wide range of topics pertaining to the State, the communiqué added.