CM seeks centre’s help to fast track rail & road projects

ITANAGAR, Jun 16: Chief Minister Pema Khandu emphasized the need to fast track communication programmes in Arunachal Pradesh, while seeking support from the Centre for structural reformation of the state’s agriculture sector.
Addressing the fifth governing council meet of the NITI Aayog, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday, the chief minister presented the status of rail, road and air projects in the state.
He also underlined the roadmap for Arunachal’s development, with special mention of rainwater harvesting and water management plans.
Speaking on the ‘aspirational districts programme’, Khandu briefed the NITI Aayog on the achievements and challenges faced by the state in implementing it.
He also threw light on the “enormous potential” of the state in the fields of agriculture and allied sectors, tourism and hydro power, which he insisted, if systematically harnessed, would “take the state to new heights.”
The chief minister also sought the Centre’s support in modernizing the police force in the state while participating in a discussion on security matters.
Stressing on the need for a permanent bureaucracy, Khandu requested the policy think-tank to consider creating a separate IAS cadre for the state.
The pace of development gets affected as the state still functions under the union territory cadre, the CM said.
“Owing to Arunachal’s vastness and diversities, the officers posted here need at least two to three years to understand the pulse of the state. By the time they know, they are transferred, hampering development,” he reasoned.
Claiming that the state has been ignored when it came to distribution of foreign funds, Khandu requested the NITI Aayog to device a mechanism to overcome this hurdle and compensate Arunachal Pradesh accordingly.
The CM also urged the Centre to relax the guidelines of its flagship programmes for Arunachal Pradesh.
“The tough and the inaccessible terrain in the state make it difficult for agencies to implement the programmes as per guidelines,” he said.
Meanwhile, the CM on Sunday met Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at his residence here and held a brief discussion on matters related to land acquisition for defence purposes in Arunachal. (CMO)