Defence Minister approves three Sainik schools in Arunachal

ITANAGAR, Nov 4: Union Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has given an in-principle approval for establishment of three Sainik schools – one each in Tawang, Pasighat and Tirap-Changlang-Longding (TCL) belt during a high-level meeting with Chief Minister Pema Khandu and senior government officers, headed by Chief Secretary Satya Gopal here on Saturday.
Sitharaman, who arrived in Arunachal on a two-day visit along with a team of senior defence ministry officers, including Secretary Defence, GoC-in-C (Eastern Command), GoC of Corp 3 and Corp 4, and other officers, said that the proposal for establishment of an airport at Dirang will be given due consideration and the armed forces also evinced a strong interest in the proposal during the meeting.
When the CM raised the urgent need to establish a cantonment in the capital area of Itanagar, for which necessary land would be acquired, the Defence Minister assured that this would be accorded high priority.
It was decided that the Land Management Minister will help in identification of a suitable contiguous land of 500 acres and thereafter the defence ministry officials would undertake a joint survey and submit the report to the MoD immediately.
When the CM urged the Defence Minister to consider freeing up some idle land in the vicinity of Tawang Township for its expansion, she directed the GOC-in-C, Eastern Command to look into this matter favourably and submit a report urgently after consulting the district administration and government officials.
The Chief Minister also impressed upon the need to expedite the operationalization of the brigade headquarters in Tirap district to deal with the problem of insurgency in the region and the Defence Minister assured that the brigade headquarter would be made operational by December 2018.
On the issue of strengthening the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang road, she assured the Chief Minister that the BRO would be given clear directions for fast tracking its upgrade and all necessary funds would be provided for maintenance as well.
The Defence Minister further assured that the IAF infrastructural facilities in the ALGs shall be permitted for civilian use. Requisite funds shall be released for conducting survey for laying the strategic railway line from Missamari (Assam) to Tawang, she said.
All the issues pertaining to land acquisition for defence purposes were deliberated in detail and sorted out.
On the second leg of her visit, the Defence Minister will be visiting forward areas in the eastern part of the state.
She has also accepted the invitation to revisit the state to lay the foundation for expansion of the National Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports (NIMAS) at Dirang in West Kameng district.
The meeting was also attended by MoS Home, Kiren Rijjiju, Land Management Minister, Nabam Rebia.
Earlier, the Defence Minister also called on Governor of Arunachal Pradesh Dr B D Mishra at the Raj Bhavan in Itanagar and discussed wide ranging defence issues, with special reference to Arunachal Pradesh.
The Governor emphasised that the proposed frontier road project must be expedited as it will boost the economy of the state, particularly in the border areas, in addition to strengthening of the surveillance of national borders and promotion of the possession of our remotes land.
He also stressed on conducting more recruitment rallies in the state to facilitate the youth of the frontier state of Arunachal Pradesh to join the armed forces.
The Defence Minister assured to look into the issues raised by the Governor and explore ways to address it at the earliest.
She also presented National Savings Certificates (NSC) to two meritorious students from the weaker economic strata of the society.
Later, the Defence Minister also attended a traditional cultural presentation at the Raj Bhavan. (PRO to Raj Bhavan/ CMO)