Welcoming December

Flights Of Fantasy

[ M Panging Pao ]

A very warm welcome to all readers to the cool month of December!
As usual, the previous month was marked by good and not so good news. The good news included the very successful ‘Pay Back to Society’ programme; initiatives to support small and medium enterprises; the impending inauguration of the Bogibeel bridge; the news that the 600 mw Kameng hydroelectric project would be made operational by March next year; and the successful conduct of the Arunachal Lit Fest.
The Pay Back to Society programme was a first of its kind in the country, during which all serving defence officers of the state came back and addressed students and staffs at schools across the entire state. The response was very positive, and we hope to see many more defence officers from the state in the near future.
The other heartening news is the impending inauguration of the Bogibeel bridge on 25 December. Under construction for the last about 20 years, its completion will connect the northern and southern banks of the Brahmaputra, connecting Papum Pare, Lower Subansiri, Upper Subansiri, Kamle, Lower Siang, Lepa Rada, West Siang, East Siang, Siang and Upper Siang districts of Arunachal with Dibrugarh, Tinsukia and Jorhat of Assam.
The bridge will also allow Arunachalees from Lohit, Namsai, Changlang, Tirap and Longding districts to travel to Itanagar much faster, cutting down the travel time by almost 4-5 hours.
Among the not so good news are the continuing APPSC controversies, frequent fire incidents, injuries to children due to mortar blasts, and attack on tourists in Mechukha.
With the winter setting in, there has been an increase in instances of fire accidents/incidents in the state. With many old buildings constructed with fragile wood, bamboo, straw and loose electric connections, there is risk of fire in many areas of our towns and villages. The citizens need to remain vigilant, and fire awareness campaigns are required in all major towns and villages. There is also a need to revamp and improve the infrastructure required for firefighting in all major towns.
Recently the state government launched the very successful Sarkar Aapke Dwar (SAD) campaign, the Citizens Health Insurance Plan (AB-PMJAY & CMAAY), and the ‘Arunachal Rising’ campaign. The SAD campaign brought the government and governance to the doorsteps of many villages. The ‘Arunachal Rising’ campaign aims at showcasing the development and progress made by the state in the last few years. Most readers will agree that there has been large-scale development in many fields and sectors across the spectrum.
However, readers will also agree that much more needs to be done to bring Arunachal Pradesh at par with other states of India, especially in the field of industries and tourism. (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)