Vijaynagar, the easternmost and one of the remotest administrative circles of Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district has finally got mobile connectivity, thanks to the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) which launched its 2G services through satellite network in the region on Saturday.

The desolated and isolated region of Vijaynagar along the India-Myanmar Border takes around six to 8 days to reach on foot through dense forests from the nearest town Miao which is around 157 kms away.

BSNL sub divisional engineer (SDE) Karma Tsering said “erecting the mobile tower in the area was not at all an easy task.”

“The state government and Indian Air Force extended us the necessary help and logistic support to transport the mobile and satellite equipment which had to be airlifted. Adding to the difficulty was the Covid-19 pandemic,” Tsering said.

The SDE said the BSNL staff had to stay in Jorhat for almost a month to airlift the necessary equipment to Vijaynagar.

Changlang deputy commissioner Devansh Yadav said “it is a historic event for Vijaynagar circle which was devoid of telecom connectivity till date.”

“The 2G BSNL connection with solar power will vitalize the growth of this region,” he said.

Spread across 8,000 square kilometres, Vijaynagar was discovered by the Assam Rifles during an expedition named Srijit II in 1961. The expedition was carried out under Major General A S Guraya, the then Inspector General of Assam Rifles.

The valley was later named by him after his son, Vijay.

Vijaynagar which comprises sixteen villages has a population of around 4400 people. The villagers depend on wetland and jhoom cultivation for their livelihood. The basic requirement of groceries is met by a few local shops which bring goods mostly on foot. For other essential requirements the people depend on the military helicopter which carries out sorties in the circle, depending upon the weather conditions.

The region is surrounded on three sides by Myanmar and the other side by a vast and thick forest of the Namdapha National Park.

The Arunachal Pradesh government has been putting in all efforts to connect Vijaynagar with Miao under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

The ambitious 157.56 km-long road project has, however, been delayed due to realignment and diversion of the road to avoid the Namdapha National Park.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu later took to twitter to congratulate the people of Vijaynagar on the development.

“Vijaynagar is a beautiful place in #Arunachal. I am delighted to know that this remote border town near Indo-Myanmar border is now connected with mobile connectivity. I thank @BSNLCorporate & local administration for their hard work in providing mobile services in remote areas,” he said.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com