Chief Minister Pema Khandu today congratulated the people of Pasighat in particular and Arunachal Pradesh in general after the oldest town of the state was included in the new list of 30 cities announced for development as smart cities under the Centre’s Smart City Mission.
Urban Development and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister M Venkaiah Naidu announced the new list of smart cities at an event in the national capital today taking the number of selected cities to 90 for financing by the Centre under the scheme.
“Despite being left out in the previous listings, we did not lose hope. Our determination and our perseverance have finally paid off. I cannot find enough words to thank the East Siang district administration, Pasighat Municipal Council and the citizens of Pasighat in particular for pursuing with grit and finally getting a place in the Smart City list of the country,” Khandu said in a statement from New Delhi.
The Chief Minister also congratulated Sikkim and Mizoram as capital cities of both these North Eastern states – Gangtok and Aizwal respectively – are included in the announced list of 30 smart cities.
Hailing the Smart City Mission – launched on June 25, 2015 – as one ambitious and innovative program of the NDA Government, Khandu expressed optimism that all these selected cities will act as zones of prosperity in a particular region and will help in minimising ill-effects of rapid urbanisation.
Pasighat if developed in a right way can become a focal point for the government’s Act East policy via the northeast. The critical factors of infrastructure like roads, railways, waterways and airways are being developed and will soon become arteries of transportation and communication. Smart city would not only bring good life to the people but also provide them with affordable access to health, education, water, sanitation, electricity, etc. The fruits of development would also help mitigate extremism and negate migration, which are volatile issues along the state’s border regions. The city of Pasighat can be created as a tourism hub and an educational centre of the state. With developed transportation, the new smart city can create many industrial hotspots and absorb more people generating employment opportunities.
“Now sky’s the limit for Pasighat via the smart city mission. Let’s join hands to make it one of the best smart cities of the country. Meanwhile, lets also work diligently to enable Itanagar to make it to the prestigious list of 100 smart cities of the country,” Khandu added.
Under the Smart City Mission, the Centre provides Rs 500 crore to each city over a period of 5 years for implementing various projects. According to the scheme there is space for another 10 cities to be developed as smart cities.