Being practical helps

Member of Parliament from eastern Arunachal, Tapir Gao, on Thursday proposed laying new railways lines in Arunachal, from Parshuram Kund to Walong, from Pasighat to Tuting, from Silapathar (Assam) to Bame, and from Bame to Aalo, Kamba, Kaying, Tato and Mechuka. He raised the point during discussions in the Lok Sabha. Gao deserves appreciation for trying to draw the attention of the central government towards the need for improving rail connectivity in the state. However, seeking rail connectivity to places like Tuting, Walong, Tato and Mechuka at this juncture sounds too ambitious.
These places still do not have proper road connectivity. Therefore, first of all, the government should concentrate on improving the road connectivity. Of course a railway line is also needed, but the priority should be roads. Politicians often try to sell larger-than-life dreams to the people, and in the process the real issues are neglected. This looks like one such classic case. MP Gao will get more appreciation if he raises the issue of the need for improving road connectivity in these areas. Places like Mechuka and Tuting, though blessed with immense natural beauty, have not been able to attract large numbers of tourists because of the poor road condition. Besides, these are strategically important towns as they are located near the Sino-India border. Unfortunately, the government of India has not prioritized the construction of roads there. Gao should push the government of India to expedite the road construction in these areas. Being ambitious is fine, but one cannot ignore the practical issues.