Arunachal jewel in India’s crown: Shah

NAMSAI, 22 May: Terming Arunachal Pradesh a “jewel in India’s crown,” union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday asserted that the people of the northeastern state bordering China are filled with patriotism.

Shah, while addressing a rally after signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Arunachal Pradesh government and the National Defence University (NDU) for the establishment of a campus in Pasighat in East Siang district, said that the institution would give the youths of the state the opportunity to serve the country.

“Whenever we come to Arunachal Pradesh, we return with energy and patriotism,” he said, adding that, after Gujarat, the second campus of the NDU will be in Arunachal.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has established two famous universities in the country – the National Defence University and the National Forensic Science University. The defence university will create trained manpower for the army and paramilitary forces. The youths of Arunachal Pradesh are not only patriotic but also physically fit. The institution will provide them the opportunity to serve the nation,” the union home minister said.

He said that projects worth Rs 1,180 crores are either completed or will be inaugurated soon.

“A total of 33,466 families and 800 self-help groups in the state were benefited through various startups worth Rs 394 crores, while 22 projects worth Rs 436 crores have been completed and inaugurated during the day and another 25 projects worth Rs 350 crores will be launched soon,” he said.

Shah inaugurated and laid the foundation for 40 projects worth around Rs 1,000 crores during the day.

He said that the 2,000 mw Subansiri Lower Hydroelectric Project will be operational by 2023, and it will benefit the state immensely. Work on the 2,880 mw Dibang Multipurpose Project, the biggest in the world, will start soon, while the 600 mw Kameng project is already functioning.

Shah said that when Chief Minister Pema Khandu assumed charge, the state’s annual budget was only Rs 12,500 crores, but it has now increased to Rs 26,000 crores. Similarly, the state’s GDP has also tripled to Rs 30,000 crores from Rs 10,000 crores.

“Around 3,000 villages have 4G connectivity while plans are afoot to expand it to 1,680 more villages,” he said.

Under the border village illumination programme, work to provide street lighting to 700 villages is underway while construction of foot tracks in border areas is also on, he said.

“When the country celebrates 100 years of independence, the states in the Northeast will be at par in terms of development with those in other parts of the country,” he said.

“For PM Modi, development should begin with Arunachal Pradesh. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he had instructed that the vaccines should first be provided to Arunachal Pradesh and now the state is free from the infection,” the union home minister said.

Shah, who laid the foundation of a 51 feet tall bronze statue of sage Parshuram at Parshuram Kund in Lohit district on Saturday evening, said that the site has an immense potential to attract tourists.

“Within five years, Parshuram Kund will become a major tourist hub of the country with a railway line connecting it. A survey is underway for the project,” he said.

Shah said that the NDA government started development initiatives in the state and now it has good road, railway, air and digital connectivity and soon Itanagar will get a greenfield airport.

He said that projects worth Rs 950 crores under the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources, Rs 835-crore worth projects under North East Council and Rs 825-crore worth initiatives under the DoNER ministry are operational in the state.

After the programme, he chaired a closed-door security review meeting with army and paramilitary forces and attended a banquet with the officers before leaving for Delhi. (PTI)