While addressing the 68th Plenary of NEC, the Governor apprised the Council that the biggest problem which the State of Arunachal Pradesh faces now is that of the lack of robust Land, Air, Internet and Mobile Network Connectivity.
The Governor of Arunachal Pradesh Brig. (Dr.) B.D. Mishra (Retd.) addressed the 68th Plenary of North Eastern Council (NEC) at Guwahati on 8th September 2019. He highlighted the challenges of the State in different sectors including educational infrastructure, road and air communication, innovation, transparency, sustainable development, improving the policing in the State and countering insurgency and anti-national activities.
The Governor said that the NEC is a forum, which provides it’s Member States, an opportunity to come together for synergizing their efforts and enhance their developmental speed, in North Eastern Region. He expressed his hope that the Council will act as a Think Tank to usher inclusive development in the Region.
The Governor apprised the Council that the biggest problem which the State of Arunachal Pradesh faces now is that of the lack of robust Land, Air, Internet and Mobile Network Connectivity. This derogates from the developmental needs as well as security parameters of the State, he said.
The Governor said that skill development, infrastructure and entrepreneurship development facilities are in nascent stage. Educational and health care infrastructure developments in Arunachal Pradesh need extensive effort. There is absence of Quality and specialised medical service facilities in remote and distant areas of the State, he underscored.
Taking up the challenges of the agrarian community of the State, the Governor said that aggregation of Agro-Horticulture produce and providing adequate backward & forward linkages in the Agriculture Sector still remain a daunting task.
Highlighting the avenues for economic growth, the Governor said that remarkable opportunities are available in the Tourism Sector, which due to lack of connectivity in the State need to be actualised. Huge Hydro Power potential existing in the State is yet to be tapped. The huge arable land potential in the State, due to primitive ways of tilling is laying waste. Industrial sector in the State has not picked up as yet which is a major source of employment for a developing State.
While urging the Council to assist in banking sector, the Governor said that due to the poor credit profile of the State, people are not able to start new business ventures. The Credit Deposit Ratio of banks in the state is less than 30 against a norm of 60, which shows that the outreach of the banking sector and financial inclusion in the state is grossly inadequate,
The Governor expressed his concern that insurgents from other States are considering Arunachal Pradesh as a safe haven for their hideouts, extortion, and fresh recruitment operations. There is an intense drive by various insurgent groups to pick local youth from Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts for their recruitment. He also mentioned the heinous killing of Late Tirong Aboh, elected MLA and 10 others in Tirap District. The Governor requested for cooperation from Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India to provide assistance to our State and bolster our counter insurgency operations, by providing men, material, and technological help.
The Governor also requested for support of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India in upgrading the existing facilities in Police Training College, in districts police lines and setting up of Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) in all districts in order to bring visible reforms in policing in the State.
The Governor pointed out that majority of the educational infrastructure and schools in the State were constructed, decades ago. These are now in dilapidated condition. He requested the NEC to make appropriate provisions for upgradation of educational infrastructure. This, he said, will solve the long pending problem of the very basic educational amenity for the students in the State.
Reiterating the role of good road, rail, air and internet and telecommunication connectivity in speedy development, the Governor said that Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of Hollongi Airport in February 2019. This, he said, has given hope to the long cherished dream of near the State Capital of Arunachal Pradesh connectivity of the State Capital Itanagar with the rest of the Country. Its early construction will help the State to have reliable air connectivity and fully utilize its potential in the fields of investment, tourism, export-import, and quick sale of perishable goods like flowers and orchids etc. He requested the North Eastern Council to take up the matter with Airport Authority of India and expedite the completion of this airport, without slippage, well within 3 years.
Raising the issue of Miao-Vijoynagar Road in the plenary, the Governor sought support of the NEC and all Central Government ministries for making the dream project a success. He said robust road connectivity is required not only for bringing inclusive development in strategic and remotely located Vijoynagar, but also for checking poaching of tigers and for conservation and protection of flora and fauna of Namdapha National Park and Tiger Reserve.
For National Institute of Technology (NIT), the Governor suggested that NIT ACT should be amended so that Education Minister and Education Secretary of the concerned States become the ex-officio members of Board of Governors (BoG) of NITs. This will ensure State Government’s speedy assistance to the NITs in time of need, he said.
The Governor said that NEC can play a lead role in becoming the Think Tank for North-Eastern Region. There is, therefore, a need to bring in Domain Experts in NEC to focus on developing clear cut roadmap for helping sizable investments in the Region. Not only does North Eastern Region require adequate funds, but it also requires technical experts who may suggest ways and means to bridge the massive gap in development of North Eastern region and the rest of India. He urged NEC to institute a detailed study as to how the massive area of my state can act as a boon for the region. The study must then translate into action by adequate funding through various sources, the Governor underscored.
The Governor said that there is a huge scope of development in the North-East Region which has now been taken up by the Government of India. In the gamut of potentials for development, the State Arunachal Pradesh tops the list in the North Eastern Region. Reminding all the Action Philosophy of our Prime Minister, Narendra Modi “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas aur Sabka Vishwas”, he appealed all to resolve to create a New North Eastern Region and make its progress conspicuous at the earliest. In the quest for progress, my State, Arunachal Pradesh will always remain in forefront, he said.
Chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is the Chairman of North Eastern Council, the plenary was attended by Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region cum Vice Chairman, North Eastern Council, Governors and Chief Ministers of North-Eastern States, senior officials from Government of India and State Governments. The two-day plenary will deliberate on the progress of ongoing projects, outlays by Central Ministries in the North Eastern Region and plans for the coming years.