Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
Arunachal Pradesh has come a long way since the NEFA days. The state’s population increased from about 3.5 lakhs in the 1961 census to about 13.8 lakhs in the 2011 census. From the original five districts, we have increased to 28 districts presently. Many new towns have come up, and the old towns are on the verge of becoming cities. From there being only one college, in Pasighat, there are now hundreds of colleges and many universities in the state.
Today, Arunachal has more roads, more electricity lines, more schools, colleges and universities, more vehicles, more education, and also more lakhpatis and crorepatis! Today, we have mobile and internet connectivity in a majority of the areas, satellite dish TVs, remotely operated TVs, etc. Old Assam-type buildings have given way to multistoried RCC buildings. We have air conditioners to remain cool, refrigerators to preserve food, and smart mobiles to do almost everything!
However, can Arunachalee citizens be satisfied? Though our state has progressed on many fronts, we are still lagging behind most other states and nations in many parameters.
Arunachalees want better electricity, roads, water, and food. We want better all-weather roads; better roads connecting our towns and villages. Better roads will reduce travel time between places and reduce maintenance cost of vehicles. Along with better roads, we require more railways and more flight connectivity. Better roads, railways and flight connectivity will promote tourism and industries, and usher in development.
Citizens want stable 24×7 electricity supply, without voltage fluctuations, in all our towns and villages. Stable 24×7 electricity supply will boost education, productivity, tourism, and industries. Presently, the power supply is erratic, with voltage fluctuations and too many breakdowns.
Arunachalees want better civic amenities like water supply, drainage, and sanitation. Despite the abundance of rivers in the state, there are many areas without access to healthy drinking water. Better drainage, sanitation, and waste management will lead to healthy lifestyle with lesser diseases.
Arunachalees want better schools, better colleges, and better universities. There is need for better medical facilities and medical care for our citizens.
Arunachalees want more employment as there are many unemployed youths. More employment can be generated by more industries, tourism, and service industries.
Arunachalees also want better governance; efficient and effective governance. Better governance will lead to more productivity and more development, and enhance the living standards of the common citizens. It will also lead to less pilferage of government funds.
Arunachalees also require better leaders, politicians, and bureaucrats who have more integrity and are less self-serving.
The list is almost endless. Arunachal wants more! (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)