On the occasion 73rd I-Day, addressing the people of Arunachal Pradesh from the IG park, Chief Minister Pema Khandu assured that “the provisions of Article 371H will continue to stay in force”– Read the full text of CM’s speech.
My dear sisters, brothers and fellow citizens of Arunachal,
On the auspicious occasion of 73rd Independence Day, I extend my heartiest greetings and good wishes to you all. 15th of August each year is a day which instils in us, a sense of solidarity, a feeling of fraternity and a bonding of brotherhood towards our fellow brethren and encompasses our heart with national pride.
I pay homage to our great freedom fighters and visionary leaders who made many personal sacrifices so that we could live as a free Nation. For making the freedom movement a mass movement and lending stability to our Democracy, no amount of tributes can be enough to all the freedom fighters who sacrificed their life for making India free from colonial rulers. I also pay gratitude to the innumerable silent workers – farmers, teachers, labourers, doctors, engineers, and others who have helped us preserve and enrich this freedom through their struggle and hard work. The day also belongs to the members of our armed forces, Para-Military Troops, State Police personnel who have so valiantly and successfully defended the pride and honour of their motherland over all these years.
I take this opportunity to thank each and every citizen of our State in believing in the programs and policies of the Government and giving a decisive mandate in the recent elections, reposing faith and confidence on us. This encourages us in our continued efforts to work for the overall well being of each and every Arunachalee. I can assure you that we will not leave any stone unturned in order to achieve the goal of inclusive development where all sections of the society will be able to take part and meaningfully contribute to the development of the State.
I also take this opportunity to congratulate Hon’ble Prime Minister and Hon’ble Home Minister for the bold decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Indian constitution and take the first steps towards inclusive development for the people of Jammu and Kashmir. I am sure this will pave the way for integrating the people of Jammu and Kashmir with the people of other parts of India and usher in a new era of socio-economic progress in the State. At the same time, I would like to assure the people of my State that the provisions of Article 371H will continue to stay in force and the same has been categorically assured in the Parliament by the Govt of India. The main objectives behind the Article 371 granting special provisions to some states including Arunachal Pradesh are to meet the unique needs of the backward areas of these States, protect the economic and cultural interests of this region, combat the local challenges and protect the customary laws in this region whereas the provisions of Article 370 was primarily divisive in nature.
Our government is working in a team spirit for achieving its Vision of Excellence in Governance, providing quality Education & Health services, bringing about transformational change in Agriculture, Horticulture sectors, realising the potential of our Blue Economy, putting focussed emphasis on Employment Generation, Livelihood Activities and Ease of doing business, providing drinking water to all households by 2024, ensuring peace, inter-tribe harmony and perfect law & order in the State by modernizing the Police Force and with social partnership, providing uninterrupted power supply, strengthening connectivity, exploiting the Hydropower potential of our state, transforming Arunachal Pradesh into a destination for High End Eco & Adventure Tourism and maintaining a perfect ecological balance by increasing the Green Cover and becoming the repository of Carbon sink for the Country.
We have brought about systematic, structural and transformational changes in all spheres of governance with a view to achieve an accelerated rate of balanced and inclusive growth and development in economy. Several innovative policies and governance reforms have been undertaken for ensuring transparency, increasing overall efficiency, removing red-tapeism and corrupt practices in the functioning of all departments of the Government. The State has achieved several milestones and witnessed an array of new developments during the past two and half years but I admit that there are miles to go and we need to travel this distance together. If all of us work hand in hand forgetting our narrow and personal differences for the common interest of our State, I am sure we can definitely fulfil the aspirations of our people. At the same time we also want to preserve our indigenous identity, culture, traditions and green environment. While Arunachal Pradesh will integrate its own approach to growth with Hon’ble Prime Minister of India’s strategy, Our own unique endowments, challenges and strengths will lend a distinctly Arunachalee characteristic to our contributions to national development.
Transparency and accountability are the edifice of good governance. In order to ensure the same, my Government has made the Lok Ayukta functional from this year. We have also decided to take up construction of offices for Lokayukta, State Human Rights Commission, Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women, Information Commission etc. along with a common complex for all the Directorates in capital complex with an aim to provide professional work environment for our Government staffs.
While focusing more on bottom-up planning, we have empowered Deputy Commissioners to prepare district specific plans and implement them as per the felt needs for several new schemes launched by the State Govt like Mukhya Mantri Rogi Kalyan Kosh, Chief Minister’s Samast Shiksha Yojana, Chief Minister’s Adarsh Pathshala, Chief Minister’s Sashakt Kisan Yojana, District Innovation and Challenge Fund, Deen Dayal Upadya Swavalamban Yojana.
In our endeavor to provide decentralized governance and equitable development, we created four districts in the last 2 years – Kamle, Pakke-Kessang, Lepa Rada and Shi-Yomi.
We have also constituted District Development Committee to formulate the development goals, objectives, policies and priorities in matters relating to planning & development and also for Formulation of annual plans and Five Year Perspective Plans. To disseminate information of major State as well Central Flagship Programs to the grass root level, we launched a comprehensive campaign – Arunachal Rising Campaign.
To bring awareness and provide benefits of all the welfare schemes of the central and state flagship programs, to the people and to redress their grievances, 353 camps were conducted last year under the Sarkar Apke Dwar programme in which the government reached to the doorsteps of about three lakh people residing in far-flung villages. This year also we are going to organize such camps to maximize the Governance reach and to ensure that the grievance of the last man is heard and redressed. I would appeal to all my fellow citizens to cooperate and help the District Administration in successful conduct of such camps.
Gaon Burahs play a very important role in our society. They are the representatives of the government at the cutting edge. To strengthen the institution of Gaon Burahs in the State, we have hiked the Monthly honorarium and various other benefits have been extended to them. We will also construct one Gaon Burah House in each district headquarter in a phased manner.
To ensure merit-based recruitment in a free, fair and transparent manner, we have streamlined the recruitment process by establishing the Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board for recruiting all Group-C posts wherein merit will be the only criteria for selection. All group A and B recruitments are now being conducted by Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission ensuring free and fair selection.
We have adopted extensive use of Information Technology to redress citizen’s grievances along with helpline to facilitate the process – Arunachal e-Services, e-ILP, CM Helpline, e-Office, e-Cabinet, Secretariat WiFi, Jeevan Pramaan, CPGRAMS, GeM, NSP etc. PMFS & DBT mode has been adopted for payment to beneficiaries under various central as well as state schemes.
Bringing huge relief to State Govt employees we have implemented 7th CPC recommendation for all the regular employees, granted Tough Location Allowance and enhanced wages for Contingency workers of all categories from January 1st 2019 by Rs 2000 per month and a new slab of above 20 years continuous service has been created with enhancement of Rs. 5000. We also created the Employee Welfare Fund, which is a Safety net for the employee’s family in case of his/her unnatural We have also extended maternity leave and child care leave benefits to female contingency and contractual staffs. This decision will benefit more than 20,000 female contingency and contractual employees of the State.
Today crime and sexual abuses against Girl Child have increased manifold. To deal with such cases, we have made amendment in law for giving capital punishment to sexual offenders of minors below 12 years. Our State has become the 4th State after Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana to do so.
Our Government has accorded a lot of priority to improve the health care system of our state. We will make all efforts to ensure that quality and affordable health care services are provided to the citizens in our state. We have been able to operationalize our first medical College in our State “Tomo Riba Institute of Health & Medical Sciences” (TRIHMS) which received its first batch of 50 (Fifty) MBBS students in 2018. In 2019, the second batch of students are going to take their admission for pursuing their MBBS course in the College. During this year, we have kept a provision of Rs 180 Crore for strengthening, upgradation and purchase of equipments for TRIHMS. We have created 208 posts of Specialists and 108 posts of GDMOs to overcome the shortage of doctors in the health centres across the state. Besides this, the five zonal hospitals at Aalo, Tezu, Khonsa, Bomdila and Ziro are also being upgraded and strengthened.
To cater to health facilities of the poor people, we have decided to establish a 200-bedded government hospital and a dedicated maternal, child and eye-care facility in Itanagar, provide services to the residents of the capital and function as a satellite and a feeder hospital to the Tomo Riba Institute of Health & Medical Sciences (TRIHMS).
We have launched our ambitious Chief Ministers Arogya Arunachal Yojana (CMAAY) for providing health insurance coverage for a family upto Rs 5 lakhs per year for Secondary and Tertiary Care Hospitalisation which are not covered under AYUSHMAN Bharat scheme of Government of India. We will strengthen the scheme to empanel key important hospitals in Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Mumbai, Delhi etc. We are also providing assistance upto a ceiling of Rs. 5 Lakhs per patient under the CM’s Free Chemotherapy scheme and up to Rs. 10 lakh per patient suffering from kidney transplant problems under the Renal Care Fund.
We also plan to introduce tele-medicine services in our state by providing specialists-level consultation for any health facilities in districts which have reliable connectivity. The system will operate in a hub and spoke model with TRIHMS as the centre having connections with various general hospitals, district hospitals and CHCs.
The focus of our Government is to provide equitable quality education so that we can promote lifelong learning opportunities amongst the people. To invoke excellence in academic performance, we have introduced State Board Examination for class V and VIII and done away with No Detention Policy. Shortage of teachers was one of the impediments in achieving quality education, for which we have created 1100 posts for teachers and regularization of SSA teachers are under process. To overcome book shortages in many schools of the state, we have initiated procurement of schoolbooks directly from NCERT for distribution to the remotest schools of our state as per our decision to provide free textbooks at the start of the academic year.
I am very happy to inform you all that the first Sainik School of the State at Niglok in Pasighat has started admission of the second batch of students this year. We will leave no stone unturned to make it an iconic institution of the state. I am very happy to inform that the law college in Jote will start functioning from this year. Government model Degree College in Palin will also start taking admissions from this year.
We are committed to establish our own State University at Passighat for which we have kept necessary funds. The permanent academic building of the first Women Government College B.Y. Government Women College, Poma is going to be constructed in Poma village near Itanagar this year. To regulate and monitor the functioning of Private Universities and Colleges in the state, we have constituted the Arunachal Pradesh State Private Educational Institutions (Regulatory) Commission.
We have also decided to provide uninterrupted power supply to all the Secondary and Higher Secondary schools in our state through installation of solar roof top panels in all the Secondary and Higher secondary schools of the state.
Under Social Security, we have enhanced the Old Age Pension, Widow Pension and Disability Pension. We have also provided additional Honorarium of Rs.1500/- per month by the State Govt in addition to central share of Honorarium to about 6225 Anganwadi Workers and Anganwadi Helpers. To bring down inequalities in the state, we will ensure that in all the beneficiary-oriented schemes, at least 50% of the beneficiaries are widows, marginal farmers, SHG, FPO and families having annual income less than Rs 2.50 lakh.
In our endeavour to achieve doubling of farmers’ income by 2022 and raise the contribution of agriculture sector to national GDP, we are investing heavily in agriculture and allied sector. We have increased the funding in CM Sashakt Kisan Yojana to Rs. 95 Crores with specific focus on cash crops. We have also launched 2 important schemes that is “Arun Pig Development Scheme” and “Mukhyamantri Neel Kranti Abhiyan” with an outlay of Rs. 20 Crores each. We have also launched the Chief Minister’s White Revolution Scheme to harness the dairy potential of the State. Integrated Large Scale Eri Farming and Integrated Large Scale Muga Farming are other income generation activities with a lot of potential in various districts of the State. I am sure that with sustained focus on agriculture and allied sector, we can ensure inclusive and sustainable growth.
I am happy to inform you that the Hon’ble Prime Minister has set up a High-Powered Committee of Chief Ministers for ‘Transformation of Indian Agriculture’ in which the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh is the only member from the north eastern States. This is a clear indication of the emphasis placed by Govt. of India to the interests of Arunachal Pradesh and North-East at large.
We also plan to bring 7 lakh hectares more land under micro irrigation in near future with an estimated cost of Rs 17,712 crores under Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee In this regard, we have submitted the plan to Government of India. We are expecting around Rs 500 Crore this year under the scheme.
In the Tourism sector, the State has won several awards like Best Tourism Initiative in North-East, National Leadership Award, Best Decorated Stand at IITM Kochi and Most Promising new destination at OTM Mumbai etc. We have also initiated decentralization of funding through District Tourism Promotion Council of Rs 50 lakhs each to 8 districts. In the last few years, the state has celebrated a lot of local festivals like Tawang Festival, Ziro Festival of Music, Dambuk Orange Festival, Adventure @ Mechuka, Buddha Mahotsava, Siang Rush etc which have earned their name on national map. We are planning to hold a Pan Arunachal Tourism Festival in the State to showcase the rich tradition and culture of various tribes of the State.
To harness the tourism potential of the state, instilling professionalism at the cutting-edge level is the need of the hour. In this direction, have decided to sponsor students of the State for taking up 3-years degree courses in prestigious Institutes recognized by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India under Chief Minister’s Paryatan Shiksha Yojana. Various White Water Guide Training Centres (Aqua Adventure Centre) in various major river basins (Kameng, Siang, Dibang, Lohit and Subansiri) of Arunachal Pradesh are also being taken up to supplement the tourism needs of the state by providing professional hands in handling rafting related activities.
To create an integrated framework of tourism promotion involving Tour Operators, Home Stays, Tourist Guides, Tourist Information Centres and Creation of Eco Tourism Infrastructure in each district, we have established District Tourism Society headed by Deputy Commissioner
In the Transport Sector, APST received national recognition and was awarded National Public Transport Excellence Award for the best performing North East State Road Transport Undertaking for the first time after 43 years. In a move to improve passenger services, the Arunachal Pradesh State Transport Service (APSTS) inducted 30 Mahindra Xylo taxis into service recently. We will also be procuring mini buses for the twin capital fitted with GPS so that the buses reach the bus stops at designated time.
We need to build resilient infrastructure to promote inclusiveness in society and lead to sustainable industrialisation in our state. It is high time for us to adopt a comprehensive approach for building all kinds of communication infrastructure (Roadways, Railways, Airways, waterways and Internet-ways) in our state and also try to use better and new technologies for building resilient Road connectivity is the most important factor in bringing development in the state and we have a huge backlog in road communication infrastructure. Therefore, we have initiated to bring reformation in the process of planning and development of all roads under Public Works Department, under a five year road plan as “The Chief Minister Comprehensive State Road Plan 2019-2024″. This initiative will bring improvement in 150 km of Capital Complex road, upgrade important interstate and inter-district roads to the specification of State Highway (SH), all the arterial roads in district headquarters, all ADC headquarters shall be connected by Major District Road category and majority of the ADC/CO headquarters shall be connected by all-weather Other District Road category by the year 2024.
In the rural communication sector, so far we have covered 1099 habitations with a road length of 7,942 kms under the PMGSY scheme and plan to cover 204 such unconnected habitations having a length of 3500 kms this year. We are also going to provide recourse support for the repair maintenance of already completed roads under such programme.
The constructions of bridges across Dibang and Lohit rivers have been completed. This will help in boosting the economic development of the districts in the eastern sector of the State. The Sisar Bridge over Sisar River between East Siang and Lower Dibang Valley District along National Highway-52 which couldn’t see the light of the day despite passing of a decade has also been constructed.
The State has also witnessed foundation laying / inauguration of various National Highway projects recently both by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and also by the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways recently. These projects will improve connectivity between Arunachal Pradesh and rest of the country. The strategic project – Construction of Sela Tunnel will provide all weather connectivity for movement of security forces as well as civilian population throughout the year to Tawang and act as a multiplier in boosting tourism in the region.
Potin-Pangin stretch under Trans-Arunachal Highway which was stuck since last 5 years has been sanctioned by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways with a cost of around 4000 Crores in 9 packages. The work for the same is expected to start soon. We are well aware of the difficulties being faced by the people of the area and our Govt will constantly monitor the progress of work in this stretch of the TAH to ensure that quality road construction is carried out expeditiously.
The backbone of all economic activities is robust infrastructure. We can see visible signs of change all-around which are now making Arunachal better connected with rest of India. The train service like Inter-city train connecting Naharlagun and Guwahati and Inter-city train connecting Tinsukia – Naharlagun which has immensely helped the people of the state. Out of the 8 railway line projects in our state, preliminary survey for the three railway lines-Bhalukpong-Tenga-Tawang, North Lakhimpur-Bame-Aalo- Silapathar and Pasighat-Roing-Tezu-Parshuram Kund- Rupa has already been completed. We will form a High Powered Committee to ensure that all land acquisition issues and clearances are granted well in time.
The decades-old dream of having our own “Hollongi Airport” in the State Capital has been realized as Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Sh. Narendra Modi ji laid the foundation stone for “Construction of Hollongi Airport”. This project was stuck for past 12 years and got cleared very recently by the efforts of the State Govt. Land for the same has been acquired and handed over to the Airport Authority of India. We will put all out efforts to facilitate State of the Art Airport in Itanagar which will fly both national and international flights. We are committed to undertake peripheral works of the Hollongi Airport in a time-bound manner to complete the project within 3 years.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister has approved the expenditure on pre-investment activities and various clearances for Dibang Multipurpose Project (2880MW) in Arunachal Pradesh for an amount of Rs. 28080 crore. The project will be completed within 9 years. On completion, the Government of Arunachal Pradesh will get 12% free power from the project which will enrich state’s coffers by about Rs 26785 crore over the project life of forty years besides other externalities like industrial and commercial activities. Our government will involve all stakeholders and allay any fears of dislocation of people and environmental degradation before construction of the project starts.
Along with the laying of 31 sub-stations under Comprehensive Scheme of Transmission & Distribution System, the 110 MW Pare Hydroelectric Power Plant was dedicated to the Nation by the Hon’ble Prime Minister on 9th of February 2019. We are expecting to commission Dikshi Hydropower project (24 MW) by the end of 2019. I am pleased to inform you all that we have achieved 100% household electrification under Saubhagya scheme and Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gramin Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY). We will also be conducting Saubhagya Rath Yatras to ensure that no household is left out from the benefit of getting electricity.
In the drinking water sector, we are committed to provide drinking water to all habitations before the stipulated deadline/target set by Government of India for providing Drinking Water to all by 2024 by converging all the schemes of Government of India and State Government. We plan to upgrade and strengthen the water supply systems of semi urban administrative centres in a phased manner.
In the Sports sector, the State has witnessed completion of football turf and hockey astro-turf laid at Sangay Lhaden Sports Academy Sports Complex, Chimpu and the Outdoor stadium at Pasighat. I am very happy to inform you all that we are planning to host the Northeast Youth Festival (NEYF) in 2020 and Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) in 2022.
I am delighted to share that the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India has announced to set up Center of Excellence in 3 sports disciplines which are Boxing, Weight Lifting and Martial Arts in our state. Martial Arts will cover Karate, Judo, Wu-Shu and Tae-kwondo. Each Center of Excellence will have 100-capacity residential schools which will be set up in Sangay Lhaden Sports Academy. With the sustained efforts of Government of India and State Government, we are hopeful to produce world class sports players in near future.
We are committed to maintaining of law and order in the state. We aim to rebuild Arunachal as an “Island of peace” where all communities co-exist harmoniously and cooperate with each other to ensure peace and tranquillity in the state. Police should not only enforce rule of law but also increase the public confidence by constantly engaging with them. We want to bring transformation of police as a force to police as a service in the state. We have prepared a comprehensive plan to upgrade the police infrastructure in our state. We have recently launched a campaign called “HAMARA ARUNACHAL ABHIYAN”. Under this mission, the Police department will collaborate with CBOs, common public, PR Leaders, Youths and Student organisations for taking up issues that are plaguing the society and develop a community discourse of cooperation and coexistence in a lawful manner.
We have also addressed one of the most pressing grievances of the Police personnel at the cutting-edge level by special grade promotions of 1535 Constables who had served more than 20 years to Head Constable Rank. All steps are being taken to modernize the equipments in police department so as to enable the police to serve the society in an efficient and effective manner.
There has been a visible improvement in work culture of the State Govt employees in last two years. This has resulted in increase of the State Own Revenue (SOR) from its past collection. While in the past 30 years of Statehood, the state never reached the mark of Rs.1000 Crore, we in 2019-20 touched the magic mark of Rs. 2100 Crore revenue generation.
The State is expected to see rise in revenue earning from its abundant mineral resources in coming years. We have framed The Arunachal Pradesh District Mineral Foundation (Trust) Rules 2018 under which every lease/permit holder shall pay Royalty which shall be used for local area development. For augmenting the State’s Own Resources, the ‘Ningru Petroleum Mining Lease’ has also been granted to Oil India Limited after a lapse of 15 years. We are also committed to re-start the Namchik Namphuk Coal field this year for which we have kept Rs. 32 Crores in this year’s budget.
The rapid increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s surface due to global warming is a big concern for the world. As our government is sensitive to environmental issues, we are launching Clean- Green Arunachal Campaign wherein we plan to plant 1 crore trees in next 5 years. Under the program, we will also be planting trees alongside all our National Highways and State Highways. The campaign will be spearheaded by Deputy Commissioners and Divisional Forest Officers and will witness participation of all key stakeholders like Community Based Organizations, Women Welfare Groups, NSS volunteers, NGOs etc.
One of our priorities is to provide basic facilities to the rural population of the State. Rural housing is one of the agenda of our government where we have a commitment to provide Housing for all population living below poverty line by 2022. We have introduced a new scheme “Chief Minister Rural Housing Scheme” which will provide a top up of Rs. 50,000 to each household being constructed under PMAY Grameen. This will ensure that the landless villagers come forward and take benefit from this scheme.
We are well aware that implementation of the schemes and projects is a crucial part of any developmental activity. Therefore, all departments have been directed to take pro-active actions in order to ensure that the projects and schemes are implemented as per timelines and the benefits reach the people in the manner in which the Government wants to deliver them.
For robust monitoring of the projects implemented in the state, last year, we had launched Arunachal Monitoring Application wherein all projects have to be Geo-Tagged on Arunachal Monitoring Application. Now, it has been made mandatory for every department to enter details in Arunachal Monitoring Application for infrastructural projects for release of funds. From this year, we have included members from local Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in the District Level Monitoring Committees to ensure proper implementation of projects.
There is a dearth of latest and reliable data which is necessary at all levels of governance and research. Considering this difficulty, the State government has recently signed an MoU with OKD Institute of Social Change and Development, Guwahati, Assam to prepare the second Human Development Report of Arunachal Pradesh which will provide an objective analysis of the State of Human Development and serve as a guide for policy makers and administrators.
I would like to mention that nothing great can be achieved without teamwork. We have to stop working in silos and start collaborating as a team to create the New Arunachal of our dreams. We have to put all efforts to make Arunachal Pradesh one of the best administered and governed states in the country following the mantra of Hon’ble Prime Minister “ Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas aur Sabka Vishwas”.
I take this occasion to acknowledge the contribution made by government officers and employees, particularly serving in difficult areas, who are working tirelessly to implement Government programmes and policies. I also thank the Police personnel, Public leaders, Social Workers, CBOs, all Stake-Holders, Gaon Burahs, Youths, Students and the Media for their constructive role in maintaining peace and tranquility in the State and their contribution to its economic progress.
I also would like to take this opportunity to convey my heartfelt condolences to those families who have lost their near and dear ones in the unprecedented floods and landslides triggered by incessant rains during the last few months. I would like to convey my deep appreciation to those who rose to the occasion and helped the Government in restoring communication and providing relief in the affected areas on short notice.
I commend the State Police, the CRPF, ITBP, NCC Scouts and Guides as well as Students for their high standard of drill and smart turnout in this parade. The members of the various cultural troupes and the school children also deserve our special appreciation for their enthusiastic participation in this important function.
Today we have to resolve that within the next two years, when independent India turns 75, we will eradicate poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. We must pledge that each village and habitation of the State must be connected with roads and every poor family must have a home. Every Arunachalee must participate in the growth of our beloved State. Let us all join hands in the spirit of Team Arunachal to realise the “Dream Arunachal” story.