Defence minister Rajnath Singh addressing the audience at Maitree Diwas

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said the Centre has approved the construction of a tunnel at Sela Pass to Tawang and over 800 km of railway lines to three strategic locations of the state.

Singh said this while speaking at the 11th Maitree Diwas celebrations at Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday.

“The Centre has also approved operationalization of Pasighat Airport, to set up Hollongi Airport near Itanagar and work to establish three strategic railway lines in the region,” he added.

“The moves are expected to boost connectivity in the hill state as well as tourism,” he said.

Located at an elevation of approximately 3,048 metres, Tawang is often claimed by China as part of South Tibet.

Singh was referring to three strategic railway line projects, which includes the proposed Bhalukpong-Tenga-Tawang (378 km), North Lakhimpur-Bame-Aalo-Silapathar (247.85 km) and Pasighat-Tezu-Parsuram Kund-Rupai (227 km).

These lines are expected to improve connectivity to northern and eastern frontiers of Arunachal Pradesh.

“The projects will provide all-weather connectivity to the local population, facilitate the movement of the Armed Forces and give a boost to tourism,” Singh said.

He also lauded the Five-Year Road Plan of Chief Minister Pema Khandu under which all the existing inter-state and inter-district roads will be upgraded to state highway specifications by 2024.

The defence minister also urged the youths of the state to actively join the Armed Forces.

“The people of Arunachal Pradesh are known for their patriotism. My ministry will see that Army Recruitment Centres are set up in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh, including Tawang,” he added.

Referring to the close cooperation between the civilians and armed force personnel in the state, Singh said that this civil-military friendship is an assurance that the nation’s borders are doubly safe.

He called for oneness among people, civil administration, Police and Central Armed Police Forces to realise the dream of ‘New India’.

The Union Minister further said that the Central government is planning to set up North East Industrial Corridor (NEIC) that will create numerous job opportunities for the people of the region.

“The Industrial Corridor will act as a land bridge between India and South East Asia that will provide employment opportunities and give a fillip to trade and tourism,” he said.

Singh underlined the special emphasis of the Government on the development of the North East region under the Act East Policy and said that India is marching forward on the path of all-round progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

A glimpse of Maitree Diwas
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