The Chief Minister (CM) of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu on Friday attended a special programme themed ‘Inclusive and Sustainable Development of North East Region by 2022’, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) under the initiative of ‘India@75 – co-creating India of 2022 in Guwahati in Assam.
Addressing the session hosted by Republic TV Editor-in-Chief, Arnab Goswami, Khandu said the biggest challenge for Arunachal Pradesh is “connectivity”. He said the State has great potential in tourism, hydro, agri-horti sectors but is not exploited to full due to “communication bottlenecks”. He, however, remained optimist that with assistance from the Central Government on rail, road and air connectivity, the connectivity bottleneck will be overcome in coming days.
On asked about the future of hydropower in Arunachal Pradesh, the CM said one of the major hindrances in its growth is the long duration for the hydro projects to obtain clearances that extends beyond 10 years. He said the issue must be discussed to sort out such hindrances.
Khandu also brought forth the people’s sentiments attached with their land. He said locals must be brought into confidence before going ahead with hydro projects. He further said the concerns of downstream people must also be taken “on board”.
Khandu further called for combined focus area for investment in the North East. He said the region as well as Arunachal Pradesh has best quality horticulture products. He also called for air connectivity within the region. Among others, the Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal, Meghalaya CM Conrad Sangma and Tripura Deputy CM Jishnu Dev Varma also attended the session.