Hello, July

Flights Of Fantasy

[ M Panging Pao ]

A very warm welcome to all the readers to the hot and rainy month of July! During this month, most of India, including Northeast India, witnesses the full bloom of the monsoon. July is generally marked by ploughing of the fields and sowing of new rice crop by farmers.
The previous month was marked by both highs and lows. The positive news included celebration of the International Yoga Day; the decision to recall excess staff attached to the DRC, Delhi; and the launching of the Arunachal Pradesh CM Dashboard to assess the performance of each district and department to ensure effective delivery of services and faster decision-making. This may lead to better governance.
The other good news was about the decision to establish the Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board (APSSB) for recruitment to Group C posts in the government. Once approved, the APSSB would smoothen and strengthen the selection process.
Another good news was the agreement by the Tatas to set up two speciality cancer centres in Arunachal Pradesh. Our state is reported to be among those with the highest cases of cancer in the country. With many patients affected by this dreaded disease, many have to travel to Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai or Guwahati for specialized treatment, spending lots of money. Cancer centres in our state, with facilities like advanced radiotherapy, PET scan, etc, would provide specialized medical care and reduce costs of travelling and staying in other cities.
The not so good news include many deaths caused by falling boulders and stones on the under-expansion Likabali-Aalo road; incidents along the Assam-Arunachal boundary; incidences of nepotism and corruption in the Trans-Arunachal Highway (TAH) construction; and the recently flared up antinational violent incidents in Tirap-Changlang region.
Despite being declared as disturbed areas again and again, with the applicability of the AFSPA and having a ceasefire with major groups, it is perplexing that there seems to be no reduction in the antinational violent incidents in Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts. Is it because there is lack of will on the part of the local, state and central leadership?
Recently, the SIC arrested some high-ranking officials/persons on charges of alleged involvement in gross irregularities in the payment of compensation against the Joram-Koloriang TAH project in Lower Subansiri district. The government and the SIC must be lauded for this timely action aimed at curbing corruption and nepotism.
However, is this incident just the tip of the iceberg? Are similar skeletons waiting to tumble out? (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)