Years of isolation due to lack of connectivity in the area bordering China in Tuting sub-division of Upper Siang district was forcing migration of residents from villages such as Zido, Ngaming, Tasigaon, Simuge and Singa on the left bank of River Siang. Tuting, the sub-divisional headquarters is situated on the right bank.
Roads have been coming up in the last few years but connectivity still remained a far cry for the want of a bridge connecting both the left and right banks of the mighty Siang. This hurdle was cleared when Chief Minister Pema Khandu inaugurated a newly constructed steel suspension bridge at Kodak here on Thursday.
The bridge, spanning 210 meters, is completely made of steel suspended from six steel wires of 52 mm from the four towers. With an estimated cost of Rs 3894.00 lakhs under NLCPR, it was executed by the state Public Works Department (PWD).
The inaugural ceremony that also marked plantation of tree saplings near the bridge was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, RD and PR Minister Alo Libang, who is also the local legislator, Power Minister Tamiyo Taga, Parliamentary Secretaries Phurpa Tsering and P D Sona, Mariyang-Geku MLA Olom Panyang, state BJP President Tapir Gao, Commissioner PWD Hage Khoda, Chief Engineer PWD Nani Tatung, DC and SP of Upper Siang and others.
Speaking at a public meeting immediately after the inauguration at Tuting general ground, the Chief Minister congratulated the people, especially those living on the left bank of Siang on getting connected with the sub-divisional headquarters after so many years. Earlier people commuted on foot by crossing the river over a traditional bamboo and cane hanging bridge.
“I am informed that the road to Singa, the last frontier village on the Indian side some 94 kms from Tuting, is yet to complete. Our government will make it sure that the road is completed very soon,” Khandu said.
Dubbing Tuting as mini-Arunachal for having Adis, Membas, Tangams, Idu-Mishmis and Khambas, who are different and distinct indigenous tribes, as its residents, Khandu hailed their unity and communal harmony.
“Despite the diversity in culture, faith and traditions, we have never in the history ever heard of any disturbance or law and order situation emanating from the area. This exemplifies the bonhomie and peaceful nature of the people and is an example for rest of the state to learn from,” he pointed.
Responding to few major demands of the people, Khandu announced a fund of Rs 5 crore for construction of a Guest House and establishment of a sub-treasury office at Tuting. To a request for anti-erosion project for protection of the festival ground here, the Chief Minister requested the local administration to prepare a Detail Project Report (DPR) and submit to the state government. He assured that it would be sympathetically considered.
While expressing confidence on the Narendra Modi-led central government for holistic development of the state, Khandu expressed gratitude to panchayati raj leaders of the area for 100 percent merger from various parties to BJP.
Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, in his speech, also cited that roads are coming up fast all across the state due to the under-construction Trans-Arunachal Highway.
“However, these road projects will not be complete till bridges are constructed at all required places. As our state is endowed lavishly with rivers, hundreds of bridges will have to be constructed,” he said and assured that the state government will put all its resources to use in constructing these.
Local legislator and RD Minister Alo Libang expressed hope that with the maiden visit of the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister, who also holds the important portfolios of Finance, Planning and PWD, would pave way for ‘Achche Din’ for Tuting sub-division and the district. He highlighted few major problems faced in the border area like lack of potable water supply, electricity, telecommunication, etc and sought attention of the government.
Libang informed that about 30 villages in the sub-division are yet be connected by roads and therefore emphasized on provision for connecting these unconnected villages.
The Chief Minister in the evening visited the grand Tuting Monastery in interacted with the monks led by Ven Khenpo Rimpoche.
Early this morning, the Chief Minister visited Gelling village that touches the McMohan Line, about 34 kms by road from Tuting. Incidentally the River Siang enters India from Tibet through a point near Gelling.
Before his return to the state capital the Chief Minister also joined Aran festival celebration at Tuting that coincided with his visit.