[ Ranjit Sinha ]
Chief Minister Pema Khandu has returned for a second innings on the hot seat along with a 40-member team, including 11 first-timers, as BJP MLAs. Seeing the Narendra Modi wave and the political equation with the same party at the Centre, the victory of the BJP is not all that impressive. The BJP could have reached the figure of 45 in the house of 60, had it done proper homework before fielding its contestants in the poll fray.
On the other hand, the electoral debacle for the Congress party is also not surprising as the electoral game in Arunachal is quite often played by political leaders with an eye on the role and poll strategy of the ruling party at the Centre. To some extent, the individual’s capacity also plays a decisive role in the electoral game in Arunachal. However, winning only four seats in the 2019 assembly polls by the grand old party was not desirable. The Congress has to pull its socks up to win the heart of the people and reinvigorate the party.
Since the goal of all political parties is all-round development of the state, we hope that the Congress will now play its part as a strong opposition, and that Khandu will keep his government’s assurance to provide transparent and corruption-free governance while giving priority to maintaining law and order and improving the health and education sectors. We expect that the present government will take all possible measures to ensure availability of doctors and supporting staffs at all CHCs and PHCs, and teachers, especially subject teachers, at the schools in the rural areas.
Even though infrastructure deficit in the education sector is a longstanding problem which needs the government’s constant attention, the government’s attention is also being drawn towards the delayed construction of the engineering college in Toru. It’s a project which was approved during 2014-15 under the Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan.
“The construction work for the engineering college is very slow and works are still in the foundation level. It is difficult to say when the infrastructure of the college will see the light of day,” said a citizen who wanted to remain anonymous.
However, if we go by the words of the officials concerned, the engineering college project may take shape within the 2020-21 financial year. The construction work is going on and a target has been set to complete the project within 2020-21, said an official of the higher & technical education department. Another official said a departmental team will visit the college’s construction site within a couple of weeks to oversee the work’s progress.
The official expressed hope that, with the installation of the new government, the project will be speeded up and the engineering college will come up within the stipulated timeframe.
Speaking of priority sectors, the government should keep in mind that without connectivity and road infrastructure, all-round development of a geographically isolated state like Arunachal will amount to daydreaming. It is hoped that the Pema Khandu-led government will give special attention to all ongoing projects, especially the Trans-Arunachal Highway and PMGSY projects, to give an impetus to the all-round development of the state.
Meanwhile, this scribe has received good news from reliable sources that, notwithstanding the rains playing spoilsport, the capital’s highway construction work, particularly drainage work, is well underway. The first milestone will be achieved in December 2019, and September 2020 is the target set for completion of the ongoing four-lane capital highway project, sources said. Until then, the people of the capital complex should find themselves alive and kicking for a better road in the state capital.