Flights Of Fantasy
[ M Panging Pao ]
Since the NEFA days, Arunachal Pradesh has undergone enormous transformation. The population increased from 3.5 lakhs in 1961 to about 13.8 lakhs, according to the 2011 census. The original five districts have gone up to 28 districts presently. Many new towns have come up, and the old towns are on the verge of becoming cities. From only one college, in Pasighat, there are now dozens of colleges and many universities.
Today, Arunachal has more roads, more electric lines, more schools, colleges, universities, more vehicles and also more lakhpatis/crorepaties. Today, we have mobile/internet connectivity in most areas, dish TVs, remotely operated TVs, etc. Old Assam-type buildings have given way to multistoried RCC buildings. We have air conditioners to remain cool, refrigerators to preserve food, and smart mobiles to do almost everything.
However, Arunachalees are dreaming for more. Though our state has progressed on many fronts, we are still lagging behind most states and nations in many parameters.
Arunachalees want more improvements in roads, electricity and water supply. We want better all-weather roads connecting our towns and villages. Better roads will reduce travel time between places and reduce maintenance cost of vehicles. Along with better roads, we require more railways and more airports for better flight connectivity. Better roads, railways and flight connectivity will promote tourism and industries, and usher in development.
Citizens want stabilized 24×7 electricity supply without voltage fluctuations in all our towns and villages. Stabilized 24×7 electricity supply will boost education, productivity, tourism and industries. Presently, power supply is erratic with voltage fluctuations and too many breakdowns.
Arunachalees want better civic amenities like water supply, drainage and sanitation. Despite numerous rivers, there are many areas in the state without access to healthy drinking water. Better drainage, sanitation and waste management will lead to healthy lifestyle with lesser diseases.
Arunachalees want better schools, better colleges, better universities, and better quality education. There is need for better medical facilities/care for our citizens.
Arunachalees want more employment as there are many unemployed youths. More employment can be generated by more industries, tourism and service industries.
Arunachalees also want better governance – efficient and effective governance. Better governance will lead to more productivity and more development, and enhance the living standards of the common citizens. It will also lead to less pilferage of government funds.
Arunachalees also require better leaders, politicians and bureaucrats who have more integrity and less self service.
Arunachalees dream for better health, more happiness and a peaceful and stable society. Do you also desire the Arunachal of our dreams? (The contributor is retired Group Captain, Indian Air Force)