Article 371 (H) will not be tinkered with, assures CM
ITANAGAR, Aug 16: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday allayed fears of revocation of the special provisions of Article 371 (H) and said the rights it endows are aimed at developing the backward areas of the state.
“I assure the people of my state that the provisions of Article 371 (H) will continue to stay in force, and the same has been categorically assured in the parliament by the Centre,” Khandu said after unfurling the national tricolour on the occasion of Independence Day at Indira Gandhi Park here.
Khandu said the provisions enshrined in Article 371 are aimed at “protecting the economic and cultural interests” of some states, including Arunachal.
The recent abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir by the Centre has raised apprehensions in the Northeast, with several parties and organisations expressing fear that the Centre may also tinker with the special status accorded to their states.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had clarified that the central government has no such intention.
Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his “bold move” in J&K, Khandu said, “The provisions of Article 371 are inclusive in nature, but that of Article 370 are primarily divisive. The government has taken the first step towards inclusive development of the people of Jammu & Kashmir.”
Article 371 (H) vests the governor of Arunachal with special responsibility with respect to the law and order situation in the state, and in the discharge of his functions in relation thereto. It also states that the legislative assembly shall consist of not less than 30 members.
“The main objectives behind Article 371, granting special provisions to some states, including Arunachal, are to meet the unique needs of the backward areas of these states, protect the economic
and cultural interests, combat local challenges, and protect customary laws,” the CM said.
He also asserted that his government would work towards ensuring peace and harmony in the state, so that all communities coexist and cooperate with one another.
“The state government has taken several measures to increase efficiency and remove red tape and corrupt practices in the functioning of the government departments,” Khandu said.
Talking about the development projects in the pipeline, the CM said the cabinet committee on economic affairs has sanctioned funds for “pre-investment activities and various clearances of the 2,880 mw Dibang multipurpose project” in the state.
“The project, expected to be completed in nine years, will provide 12 percent free power to the state,” he explained.
The chief minister appealed to the people to “collaborate and work together as a team” to build the Arunachal of their dreams.
“We have to put in our best efforts to make Arunachal one of the best-administered states in the country, in line with the prime minister’s mantra of ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikas aur sabka vishwas’,” Khandu said.
Independence Day was celebrated across the state in a befitting manner.
At the Raj Bhavan here, Governor BD Mishra hoisted the national tricolour, and exhorted the people to have the ‘nation first’ spirit, saying, “When the nation is safe, we are safe; when the nation is developed, we are developed; and when the nation is strong, we are strong.”
Stating that children are the future of the nation, Mishra said a strong foundation for the state’s children is the need of the hour.
“It is the duty of the elders, teachers and social leaders to instill love for the nation, right values and right conduct in our children,” he said, adding that “the spirit of unity must be our strength, teamwork and cooperation our approach, and discipline and hard work our key result areas.”
Unfurling the national flag in Yachuli in Lower Subansiri district, Education Minister Taba Tedir said regularization of more than 400 SSA/RMSA teachers and creation of more posts for regularization of teachers under the Integrated Samast Shiksha Yojana are in the pipeline.
He informed that the Chief Minister’s Samast Shiksha Yojana, Adhunik Pathshala Yojana, Acharya Dronacharya Gurukul Yojana and the Vidya Scheme will be continued.
Tedir also informed that an NCC academy will be established in Itanagar, while solar rooftop panels of 3 kw each would be installed at all the secondary and higher secondary schools in the state.
Speaking on road connectivity, he informed that the construction of the Joram-Koloriang double-lane road was inaugurated in June this year, and that the tender process for the Potin-Bopi TAH is underway.
The minister also enumerated the various developmental initiatives in his constituency, such as establishment of a police station in Yachuli, a police beat station in Deed, multipurpose stadiums in New Pitapool and Dem, a hockey stadium, drier machines for large cardamom, cold storage facilities, infrastructure development of the GHSS’ in Talo and Yazali, and the health centres in Loth, Mai, Kuchkut and Yachuli, besides shifting of the PWD SE office to Yachuli and ensuring proper functioning of the divisional commissioner and the DIGP offices in Yachuli.
Attending the I-Day celebration in Namsai, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein said the government is committed to ensure “accountable, corruption-free transformation and equitable development in all the sectors” by ensuring that the benefits of the welfare schemes reach the last man in the society.
He said the government has given emphasis to road connectivity, besides health, education, agriculture and allied sectors, power, hydropower, tourism, sports, and skill development to ensure all-round development.
Mein urged the people to cooperate with the government in implementing its welfare schemes and developmental programmes and policies smoothly in the district.
Namsai MLA Chau Zingnu Namchoom reiterated his commitment to work to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of his people.
“The state government will leave no stone unturned to achieve the vision of excellence in governance and bringing transformational changes in all sectors for inclusive and sustainable development in the state,” he said.
The MLA announced that this year he is adopting Kaba village to turn it into a model village under the CM’s Adarsh Gram Yojana.
He appealed to the people of the district to fight against the menace of opium and other drugs, and to make Namsai district a place where people would live with happiness, dignity and self-respect.
In Nyapin in Kurung Kumey district, Home Minister Bamang Felix unfurled the national tricolour.
Addressing the gathering, Felix dwelt on the developmental activities being undertaken in the state, especially in the education, health and communication sectors.
Speaking about his mission and vision for Nyapin, Felix assured to provide at least 500 houses to rural BPL families and widows. He appealed to the people to cooperate with the government’s developmental agencies for timely and smooth implementation of developmental projects.
Our correspondents add: The Nani Maria Society (NMS) in Lower Dibang Valley (LDV) HQ Roing celebrated Independence Day by planting saplings in Cheta II, along with the BRTF’s 752 GREF Commander Chammanlalji and AIMSU president Mapu Mihu.
The plantation drive was launched at the NMS’ Child Care Institute, where the children of the institute also participated in the programme.
The GREF commander also inaugurated the vocational training centre at the children’s home.
NMS chairperson Desai Linggi spoke on the issue of child labour, and the organisation’s work towards improving underprivileged children’s lives.
Chamanlalji encouraged the students to be dutiful towards their studies, and assured to provide assistance to the NMS in the future, too. He has contributed to the organisation in the past, as well.
Mihu donated sports equipment and contributed money out of pocket for the children under the NMS’ care.
The NMS’ Children’s Home houses children who have been orphaned, or abandoned, or are destitute. The home has also rescued children from child labour and abuse.
In East Siang HQ Pasighat, local MLA Kaling Moyong unfurled the national tricolour, and appealed to the people to work with unity for overall development of the area.
Arunachal East MP Tapir Gao hoisted the national flag in Ruksin, in the presence of ADC Kabit Apang and other government officials. Gao urged the youths to “work for nation-building” and assured to sanction fund for development of the playground in Ruksin from his MPLAD fund.
Pasighat West MLA Ninong Ering hoisted the national flag in Sille-Oyan. He appealed to the people to play an active role in the developmental process and help the government departments in implementing welfare schemes.
Reports of I-Day celebration have also been received from different pockets of Mebo and Bilat circles in East Siang district.
In Pakke-Kessang district, MLA Biyuram Wahge unfurled the national tricolor at the general ground in Lemmi.
The MLA apprised the gathering of the government’s welfare schemes, especially in the agriculture and health sectors, and urged them to avail the schemes’ benefits.
Students along with scouts and guides from various schools displayed parades and cultural presentations. A cleanliness drive was also conducted at the general ground, and the PHE department later distributed dustbins to the hospital, schools, offices, and shopkeepers.
The day was celebrated in a befitting manner in Upper Subansiri district also. While Tourism Minister Nakap Nalo unfurled the tricolour in Nacho, MLAs Taniya Soki, Rode Bui and Nyato Rigia unfurled the national flag in Daporijo, Dumporijo and Taliha, respectively. All the legislators urged the people to develop patriotism and be part of the nation-building process.
Highlighting the social problems faced by the people of Upper Subansiri, Soki sought the people’s cooperation in the fight against social evils like terrorism, drug abuse, corrupt practices, etc.
In Lohit HQ Tezu, the national flag was hoisted by local MLA Karikho Kri, while Legislative Assembly Speaker PD Sona hoisted the flag in Tato in Shi-Yomi district, Health Minister Alo Libang hoisted the tricolour in Upper Siang HQ Yingkiong, Deputy Speaker Tesam Pongte hoisted the flag in Changlang, MLA Kento Jini hoisted it in West Siang HQ Aalo, former ZPM Yiyom Yomcha hoisted the flag in Yomcha, Khonsa East MLA Wanglam Sawin hoisted it in Tirap HQ Khonsa, DoTCL Minister Wangki Lowang unfurled the flag in Deomali (Tirap), EAC (in-charge) DK Thungdok hoisted the flag in Lazu (Tirap), EAC Tagam Mibang hoisted it in Dadam (Tirap), local MLA Wanglin Lowangdong hoisted it in Borduria (Tirap), village chief Liphok Lowang unfurled the tricolour in Soha (Tirap), EAC Hakresha Kri hoisted the flag in Bari-Basip (Tirap), and MLA Tsering Tashi hoisted the flag in Tawang.
The national flag was hoisted in Lungla (Tawang) by MLA Jambey Tashi, in Boleng (Siang) by Pangin MLA Ojing Tasing, in Rumgong by local MLA Talem Taboh, in Pangin by Tageng Taki, in Yupia (Papum Pare) by Doimukh MLA Tana Hali Tara, in Roing (LDV) by MLA Mutchu Mithi, in Dambuk (LDV) by MLA Gum Tayeng, in Bomdila (West Kameng) by MLA Dongru Siongju, in Palin (Kra Daadi) by MLA Balo Raja, and at the state secretariat in Itanagar by Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar.
Independence Day was also celebrated by the Sangay Lhaden Sports Academy in Chimpu, HIM International School, the KGBV in Namsai, NGO Mumkin, and the Arunachal branch of the Youth Hostels Association of India.
The additional resident commissioner’s office in Mohanbari (Assam), the 12th Bn NDRF stationed at Doimukh, and the NEC secretariat in Shillong (Meghalaya) also celebrated I-Day with enthusiasm.