Arunachal chief minister Pema Khandu with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image credit - Northeast Now

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu stressed on the need to augment and fast-track communication like rail, road and air including information technology to bring in transformational change in the process of development in Arunachal Pradesh.

Khandu, who was addressing the 5th governing council meeting of NITI Aayog chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday also briefed NITI Aayog on the present status of the road, rail and air projects ongoing in the state.

He also made special mention on plans for rain water harvesting and water management.

While speaking on aspirational district programme, the CM briefed NITI Aayog on the achievements and challenges faced by the state on the programme. Security matters were also discussed with support sought from the central government in modernising police.

He also highlighted the strength and potential of the state in the field of agriculture and allied sector, tourism and hydro power which he said if systematically harnessed would lead the state to new heights.

The Arunachal CM emphasised that agriculture needs a structural reform so that it transforms into a potential economic sector.

He sought continued support from Government of India in the sector.

While saying that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Government of India has reinvigorated the policy orientation towards the North-East which has resulted to a palpable change in the support being extended from the Union government to catalyse growth of Arunachal Pradesh, Khandu hoped for continued support from Govt of India particularly in the field of communication network.

Stressing for permanent bureaucracy in Arunachal, CM requested NITI Aayog to consider its proposal for separate IAS cadre for Arunachal.

Justifying his stand, the CM said that the state still under UT cadre hampers the pace of development.

Owing to vastness and diversities, the officers posted needs at least two to three years to understand the pulse and needs of the state. By the time they know, they are being transferred, hampering development, Khandu reasoned.

The Chief Minister further urged the GoI to consider relaxation in guidelines of national flagship programmes in respect to Arunachal Pradesh. The tough and inaccessible terrain of the state makes it difficult for agencies to implement the programmes as per guidelines, Khandu said.

While stating that the state has been debarred and ignored of foreign fundings, the CM requested NITI  Aayog to device a mechanism to overcome this hurdle and compensate Arunachal Pradesh accordingly.

The meeting was attended by all the Union Ministers, chief ministers of the country, Lt. Governors and NITI Aayog members.

Khandu later called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and discussed on wide range of topics pertaining to the state.


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

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