Focus on digital infrastructure, road projects to boost development in Arunachal: CM

ITANAGAR, 2 Jan: The Arunachal Pradesh government is focusing on strengthening digital infrastructure and construction of roads during the current calendar year to improve connectivity and boost development in the northeastern state, Chief Minister Pema Khandu said.

The authorities will emphasize on completion of two vital projects in 2022: Tali road in Kra Daadi district and Miao-Vijaynagar in Changlang, he said.

“I have taken a challenge to complete these two roads by 2022. The Miao-Vijaynagar road is one of the oldest projects and the work had begun when Arunachal Pradesh was a union territory,” Khandu said in an interview with PTI.

Arunachal became a state in 1987.

Noting that road connectivity remains the most challenging issue in the northeastern state, the CM said his government would ensure early completion of the two projects.

Tali and Vijaynagar are yet to be connected by roads.

Under the digital connectivity programme, various core infrastructure projects, including the national optical fibre network, the statewide area network, the supervisory development centre and the national knowledge network are in progress in the state, the chief minister said.

Asked about his vision for the next 10 years, Khandu stated that he wants to see Arunachal as a transformed state with the highest ranking in the happiness index.

“In the next ten years, the state will witness transformation in the tourism industry and reformation in the power sector as many mega hydropower projects will be completed. There will be a sea change in communication which will, in turn, develop the agriculture and horticulture segments in the state,” the CM said.

The 2,000 megawatt Lower Subansiri project will be completed by the 2022-23 fiscal, and a unit of 500 mw of the facility is likely to be made operational by August, he said.

“Work on the 2,880 mw Dibang project – the biggest hydropower generation facility in the country – will start soon and will be completed within eight years,” he said.

The government has also planned eight power projects with a total of 11,000 mw installed capacity and is in talks with public sector undertakings such as the NHPC Ltd, the North Eastern Electric Power Corporation, the NTPC Ltd, THDC India and SJVNL, Khandu said.

Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, who is in charge of the power and hydropower department, had on 29 December convened a meeting with officials of major energy giants in New Delhi to prepare a roadmap to develop such projects in the state.

During the interaction with Mein, SJVN chairman and managing director NL Sharma said the company would invest Rs 60,000 crores to harness 5,097 mw of hydropower in Arunachal Pradesh.

These plants – the 3,097 mw Etalin Hydroelectric Project (HEP), the 680 mw Attunli HEP, the 500 mw Emini HEP, the 420 mw Amulin HEP and the 400 mw Mihumdon HEP – will be located in the Dibang basin of the state.

To the question about sustainable exploration of shale oil in the state, the chief minister said that his government has already requested the Centre to carry out a study to extract the resource.

“Shale oil is under Schedule I, which comes under the Centre’s domain,” he said.

Oil shales are usually fine-grained sedimentary rocks containing a large amount of organic matter from which a significant volume of hydrocarbon resource and combustible gas can be extracted by destructive distillation. (PTI)