‘Arunachal has pride of place in national scheme of things’

Naidu lays foundation stone for drainage systems

ITANAGAR, Jun 16: “Arunachal Pradesh, being a very important border state, has a pride of place in our national scheme of things,” Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu said here on Saturday after laying the foundation stone for the septage management system (SMS) and the storm water drainage system (SWDS) for Itanagar under the AMRUT scheme.
Governor BD Mishra, Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, Home Minister Kumar Waii and other ministers, elected officials and officers from the state government were present at the ceremony, which was held at the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre.
Addressing the gathering, Naidu said the projects – with estimated costs of Rs 16.59 crore for the SMS and Rs 14.53 crore for the SWDS – are aimed at improving the urban infrastructure related to drainage system, and improving the urban landscape.
“I am delighted to be in Arunachal on the happy occasion of laying the foundation stone for two very important projects,” said Naidu, who is on his maiden visit to Arunachal as vice president.
Describing Arunachal as “a very beautiful state,” the vice president said it is well on the road to becoming a “mightiful state,” in terms of development, “under a helpful prime minister and a dutiful chief minister.”
He emphasized on peace, “both beyond and within our boundaries,” as a crucial ingredient for rapid development of the country.
“We believe in resolving differences through negotiations, in an atmosphere of trust and goodwill,” the vice president said.
Earlier, Pema in his speech said it was Naidu who, during his tenure as urban minister, brought out the concept of the AMRUT scheme to improve living conditions in urban areas “after visualizing that India was moving away from villages to the urban areas.
“It was also during his (Naidu) tenure that the Smart City Mission was launched, and we Arunachalees are fortunate to have two smart cities – Itanagar and Pasighat – making us among the few states in India, and the only one in the North East, to have such privilege,” the CM said.
He appealed to the vice president for a separate IAS/IFS/IPS cadre for Arunachal, saying the state is lagging in the development indices because of the lack of a facility for preparing robust policies.
The governor in his address said the Centre is paying full attention to develop Arunachal Pradesh under the Act East Policy.
“Now it is for the people of the state and the region to make the best use of the opportunity,” he said.
Expressing hope that the SMS and the SWDS projects would be implemented successfully, Mishra repeated his mantra of “transparency, accountability, continuity, audit and review, and midcourse correction” for the schemes to succeed.
The deputy chief minister in his address expressed hope that the SMS and the SWDS projects would be completed on time, and that the state capital would see “tremendous improvement in sewage management and drainage system” on their implementation.
Dwelling on various initiatives of the state government to bring changes, he said “the key thematic thrust areas for development of the state are based on the policy objectives to ensure transparency in public spending.”
It would be made possible, Mein said, through governance reforms, sustainable economic development, equitable and inclusive development, improved education and healthcare, emphasis on skill development, transforming rural farm economy “and, most of all, by creating an ecosystem for entrepreneurship in the state.” (CMO)