Chief Minister Pema Khandu today emphasized on road connectivity to usher development and welfare projects in remote border areas of the state so that migration of local populace to urban areas, making the border strategically vulnerable, is checked.
Convening an important meet on ‘Special Package for Border Areas’ here this afternoon, the Chief Minister along with Minister of State, Home Affairs, Kiren Rijiju and state Home Minister Kumar Waii in presence of Joint Secretary, Border Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Pradeep Gupta and Chief Secretary Shakuntala D Gamlin took stock of the proposals being submitted by concerned state government departments to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs for special dispensation.
The proposal for seeking a ‘special package’ for border area development was mooted in 2014 but got delayed due to various factors.
Khandu asserted that further delay in going ahead with the proposals would deprive timely development of remote border areas of the state and urged officials of the concerned departments to submit their proposals immediately.
“We have lost enough time. We can’t wait anymore,” he said.
The state government is seeking special assistance from Center in the sectors of health, education, rural connectivity, power (including solar and alternate resources), drinking water and civil supplies.
The Chief Minister strictly advised officials not to include projects in their respective proposals that are already being covered under ongoing central government and state government flagship programmes and schemes.
“Please avoid duplicity and take up projects that are not covered in any ongoing schemes and programmes for special dispensation,” he said.
Khandu assured MoS Home of judicious implementation of all funds granted by the Center for developmental projects and asserted that corruption in any form will not be tolerated.
Rijiju admitted that road connectivity in border areas is of utmost importance and said he has been pushing for relaxation of norms specifically for Arunachal Pradesh in implementation of PMGSY which is based on population.
“The Union Home Ministry will pursue with the concerned ministry for connecting each registered village under PMGSY by relaxing its norms for the state,” he said.
The MoS informed that the Home Ministry is also mooting proposals for a frontier highway and an industrial corridor for Arunachal Pradesh.
“We are proposing the frontier highway to connect all towns along the international border and the industrial corridor to connect all the foothill areas. These roads along with the ongoing trans-Arunachal highway in the middle belt will become the main lifelines of the state around which other arterial roads would come up solving the connectivity hurdle forever,” he explained.
Rijiju urged the state government to complete its exercise of submitting proposals immediately so that MHA can pursue the same with concerned ministries for sanction.
The same was reiterated by the Joint Secretary, Border Management, Home Affairs, Pradeep Gupta.
Gupta clarified that concerned departments taking care of health, education, rural connectivity, power, drinking water and civil supplies have to finalize their proposals justifying their request for funds and submit to MHA.
“We will then send the proposals to the line ministries for examination. Then MHA will place the proposal in the union Cabinet for special dispensation,” he informed adding that with the keen interest of MHA and pursuance of the state government the proposal would likely be approved.
Gupta urged the state government officials to follow up with their respective proposals till approval by the Cabinet.
“MHA is with the state government in this venture and will take up all issues related to this special package with the line ministries,” the Joint Secretary assured.
A meeting in this regard is slated to be held at MHA by second half of this month.
Meanwhile, concerned departments of Health, Education, Rural Development, Power, Hydropower, APEDA, PHE&WS and Civil Supplies gave power-point presentations highlighting the details of their respective proposals.