Pema says tourism sector saw huge funding after he took over as CM

AALO, Feb 3: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Sunday launched the third leg of the ‘Arunachal Rising’ (AR) campaign during the closing ceremony of the Yomgo River Festival (YRF) here in West Siang district.
Also present on the occasion were union MoS for Home Kiren Rijiju, Tourism Minister Jarkar Gamlin, and Deputy Speaker Tumke Bagra.
The CM felicitated the best ASHAs, anganwadi workers, progressive farmers and student winners of the essay writing competition on ‘Arunachal Rising’.
Describing the YRF as one of the oldest tourism festivals of the state, the CM expressed hope that the area would see a boost in tourist inflow after its revival.
Pema said earlier state governments had merely offered “lip service to the tourism sector,” and added that the sector saw a huge surge in funding after he took over as the CM.
“The fund allocation for the sector jumped to Rs 160 crore in the 2018-19 financial year, from Rs 16 crore during the time of previous governments,” Pema said. “To prove the potential of tourism in the state, it needs huge investment of funds.”
The CM, however, said the YRF needed better planning and management for it to attract more visitors.
To minimize wasteful expenditure, he suggested having “a permanent festival ground and infrastructure instead of makeshift structures,” and assured to provide all support from the government for the purpose. He also suggested giving the local touch to the permanent infrastructure which would be built.
“Aalo area is rich in scenic beauty, and for it to be used to its maximum potential, the place needs good lodging facilities, homestays and hotels,” the CM said, and urged the local businessmen to invest in infrastructure to support tourism. He also advised the people to maintain cleanliness during the celebration, and to organise a cleanliness drive after the celebration.
“Festivals such as Basar Confluence (BasCon) are a right effort in promoting tourism based on sustainability and preservation of ecological richness,” he said, adding that other festivals could take a cue from BasCon in discouraging plastic materials and encouraging the use of naturally available materials.
Speaking on development of the area, the CM said the government has sanctioned Rs 32 crore under the NESIDS for providing drinking water. He said the government earlier sanctioned Rs 5 crore for elevating the general hospital here to a zonal hospital, and further assured to provide support for improving the town’s road.
Earlier, in the morning, Pema attended the foundation laying function for the 40-bedded ANM hostel here, funded by the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd under its CSR programme.
Having inspected the facilities in the school, he promised to release fund for an additional 20-bedded hostel, and for expansion of the institute’s academic building.
Later in the day, the chief minister launched the AR campaign at Kiyit village in East Siang district, where, besides felicitating the best ASHAs, anganwadi workers, progressive farmers and winners of the essay writing competition, he distributed radio sets to the gaon burahs, provided by local MLA Lombo Tayeng under the prime minister’s ‘Mann ki baat’ programme.
Pema in his speech lauded the efforts of the gram preraks and communicators who are disseminating information about the state and central flagship programmes to the people at the grassroots level and to students in schools, respectively.
He commended the East Siang administration for conducting 18 Sarkar Aapke Dwar camps across the district and extending benefits to over 27580 people.
“Arunachal being a diverse state, the concept of ‘Team Arunachal’ has been brought in to take along the interests of all, irrespective of where they are from and who they are,” Pema said, adding that “the ‘Team Arunachal’ concept is not merely for lecture but will be implemented at the ground level.”
Informing the gathering that the present government has been inclusive by involving all stakeholders while preparing the state’s budget, the CM said the government is also empowering the institution of the deputy commissioner to ensure equal development of all parts of the state and facilitate the addressing of the concerns of the grassroots people.
“For development to take place efficiently, MLAs and government officers will be given training to make them aware of their roles and responsibilities,” he added.
Lok Sabha MP Ninong Ering, local MLA Lombo Tayeng and MLAs Tatung Jamoh and Kaling Moyong were also present on the occasion. (CMO)