Decks cleared for Hollongi airport: CM

TEZU, Dec 18: The decks have been cleared for the long-pending airport at Hollongi, near the state capital, and the airport will soon see the light of day, said Chief Minister Pema Khandu.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Arunachal Pradesh probably in January, 2019, and lay the foundation stone for the airport,” the chief minister disclosed during the ‘Arunachal Rising’ campaign here in Lohit district on Tuesday.
Pema said he had a meeting in the prime minister’s office a couple of days ago, where he was informed that all decks have been cleared for the airport.
Terming connectivity the most imposing challenge for the state, the chief minister, however, said that with the blessing of the central government, roads worth Rs 50,000 crore are under various stages of construction.
Besides, surveys are going on for various railway projects while ALGs are being made functional, he said.
“We will soon procure fixed-wing aircraft for linking all these ALGs, which would enable commercial flights within the state,” he added.
The chief minister termed the creation of the Staff Selection Board (SSB) a historic decision of the state government.
He said recruitment to Group C posts through the board would offer equal opportunities to unemployed youths across the state who were earlier dependent on the whims and fancies of ministers, MLAs and officers.
“Group C posts were filled up through backdoors and, therefore, were available only to those who had good connections with politicians or officers. Now it will be stopped and all unemployed youths will get equal chance,” Pema said.
The chief minister informed that all the vacancies in the districts would be filled up by the board, and preference would be given to the people of the districts concerned.
For offices like the governor’s secretariat, the chief minister’s office and the civil secretariat, vacancies will be filled up through open job recruitment for all by the SSB, he said.
Pema informed that the state government is in the process of bringing in various reforms to streamline its functioning, so that the people at the grassroots level can avail of the services meant for them.
He thanked all government officials for putting in their best efforts in the last two years of his tenure as the CM, which he said has resulted in enhancement of the state’s revenue by more than Rs 700 crore. He urged them to continue the good job and work sincerely for the people.
Responding to a memorandum submitted by local legislator and cabinet minister Dr Mahesh Chai, the chief minister assured to take up the matter of the Tezu-Sunpura road with Union MoRTH Minister Nitin Gadkari, who is visiting the state on 20 December.
For a bridge over the Haju river and a road to connect Bedagam village, he asked the DC to prepare DPRs and send them to the state government.
Fulfilling a commitment he had made during his earlier visit to Indira Gandhi Government College here, the chief minister handed over the sanction letters for an administrative block (Rs 3 crore) and construction of internal roads in the college complex.
Later, he visited the stalls set up by various government departments under the Sarkar Aapke Dwar programme, and laid the foundation stone for the upgraded Sunpura EAC headquarters.
During the rally, the best ASHAs, anganwadi workers, teachers, progressive farmers and officials were felicitated and awarded cash prizes.
Earlier in the day, while travelling by road from Hayuliang to Tezu, Pema inaugurated the Mompani bridge in Anjaw district.
The ‘Arunachal Rising’ campaign was also attended by Deputy CM Chowna Mein, state BJP president Tapir Gao and legislators PD Sona, Zignu Namchoom and Gum Tayeng, besides officials of the district.
On Monday, the chief minister and his entourage toured Hayuliang in Anjaw district on the second leg of the campaign.
At Hayuliang, he laid the foundation stones for the ADC office and the Vivekananda Kendriya Vidyalaya.
Later, addressing a gathering of government employees, public leaders, gaon burahs, students and villagers at the general ground, the chief minister explained that “Team Arunachal doesn’t mean only the ministers and MLAs. Every member of the society, including government employees, gaon burahs, grassroots level leaders and villagers constitute Team Arunachal.”
He urged the people to become active members of the team and contribute in the growth and development of the state.
“Arunachal Pradesh, despite its rich resources, has been lagging behind other states due to old and worn out system of working,” Pema said, adding that he was committed to “change the system with people’s help and support.”
Expressing concern over Anjaw’s underdevelopment, he assured all support from the state government in finishing the unfinished projects initiated by former chief minister and legislator from the district, late Kalikho Pul.
He commended sitting MLA Dasanglu Pul for continuing the good work of her late husband, and appealed to all to support her for accelerated development of Anjaw.
“Anjaw and Dibang Valley districts can become the most sought after tourist destinations of the state once the connectivity bottleneck is removed,” he said, adding that once the work on the Trans-Arunachal Highway running through the district is complete “the face of Anjaw would change.”
Responding to a memorandum submitted by the local legislator, the CM assured to place funds for construction of two steel bridges, one foot-suspension bridge and two general grounds in the district.
He asked the DC to prepare DPRs for the five projects in consultation with departments concerned and forward the same to the government.
The chief minister also attended the ‘Arunachal Rising’ campaign at Anini in Dibang Valley on Monday morning, where he reiterated that his government would not tolerate corruption in any form.
He cautioned that anyone caught indulging in corrupt activities would have to face the consequences, irrespective of their power or position.
On Sunday, the chief minister inspected the abandoned ALG at Alinye near Anini, which was constructed in the early ’60s. He also inaugurated the helipad, and the 80-bedded boys’ hostel of the GHSS in Anini.
The chief minister also visited the JNV in Anini, where he was surprised to see the very poor condition of the school, and immediately took up the matter with the JNV authorities in Delhi.
Informing that funds would be placed for developing the school’s infrastructure, Pema said the state government would provide it with temporary infrastructure till the permanent structures come up.
At both the campaign meets, the chief minister felicitated ASHAs and anganwadi workers and gave away prizes to the winners of essay competitions held as a part of the campaign for students.
At Hayuliang he distributed LED TV sets to gaon burahs.
Pema along with Mein also held separate review meetings with the HoDs and the DCs at Anini and Hayuliang.
The ‘Arunachal Rising’ campaign at Anini was also attended by Mechuka MLA PD Sona, while Dr Chai and Dirang MLA joined the one at Hayuliang. (CMO)