ITANAGAR, February 15: The Naharlagun-New Delhi express would run twice a week, announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi today. Addressing a mammoth gathering at a public rally at Indira Gandhi Park here today, the charismatic Prime Minister, who was on a day visit to the state capital said that the express, renamed as Arunachal Express would further boost the connectivity sector of the state linking it with the main land.
Greeting the large enthusiastic crowd with ‘Paya Lincho’ in chaste Nyishi dialect, Modilauded the people of Arunachal Pradesh for their nationalism and patriotic feeling which make them special in terms of speaking hindi, adding that the state would witness rapid development in near future.
On the occasion, the Prime Minister inaugurated the Dorjee Khandu State Convention Centre, dedicated the State Civil Secretariat Building to the people of the state and laid the foundation stone of the Academic Block of the Tomo Riba Institute of Health and Medical Science (TRIHMS).
Emphasizing on the need to have a proper working environment for effective administration and coordination for smooth delivery of services, he said that the new secretariat building housed most of the key departments which would facilitate better coordination and cooperation among the employees, besides making it easier for people coming from distant areas.
Modi said that the Dorjee Khandu Convention Centre is a vibrant centre that will further the aspirations of the state as various activities like cultural, conferences etc can be conducted there, besides promoting tourism sector as the conferences and cultural activities would draw government officials and private companies to the state. He said that he would suggest people to come to Arunachal Pradesh for holding important meetings at the Convention Centre, adding that every corner of the country should be involved in governance. The Prime Minister further informed that unlike past, Union Ministers and officers are visiting the North-East regularly to review and monitor the schemes and projects to ensure effective implementation of all government policies and programmes.
The Prime Minister, while speaking on health sector, said that the Government of India is working towards building medical colleges in all parts of the country. There is need to focus attention on human resource development, infrastructure, and use of modern technology in this sector, he said. Modi, who laid the foundation stone of the academic block of the TRIHMS on the occasion, hoped that the state medical college would deliver health care services in tune with the local needs. When one studies in a particular area, one becomes better acquainted with the local health challenges, he opined. Stating that the healthcare has to be of good quality and affordable, the Prime Minister informed about the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra, an initiative of GoI for generic medicine minimizing prizes of medicines for BPL people and the Ayushman Bharat scheme which provides quality and affordable healthcare. He also informed of setting up of wellness centres to promote gramin health care covering every panchayat, modern market facilities as a part of gramin seva to ensure farmers get better access to markets, besides many holistic programmes taken up for Human Resource Development, infrastructures etc.
Lauding Chief Minister Pema Khandu for his initiatives towards state’s development, the PM praised Khandu for preparing roadmap, ‘vision 2027’ for development of Arunachal Pradesh in next 2027. In his address, Chief Minister Pema Khandu assured Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the BJP Government in Arunachal Pradesh will give account of every penny granted by the central government and that the government in the state has changed since his (Modi’s) visit to the state in 2015.
Terming the moment as historic because of Modi’s 2nd visit to state as Prime Minister, Khandu pointed that the present BJP government in the state took root from Modi’s fiery speech during his last visit in 2015, when the state had a Congress government. Modi had warned that the central government will make state’s accountable for every penny granted by the Center.
“It is the responsibility of Team Arunachal to give account of every penny spent from the government exchequer and we will do it,” Khandu asserted.
The Chief Minister also asserted that despite abundant resources, Arunachal Pradesh is still a resource-crunch state due to lack of proper and sound policies implemented by the earlier state governments.
“Our youths have the potential to excel in all fields and take the state forward rapidly. We need to give them opportunity through programs and policies and a corruption-free government,” he said.
Expressing gratitude to the Prime Minister for taking time out from his hectic schedule to visit the state twice in three years, Khandu said no other Prime Minister ever did that. He said due to Modi’s love and care for the North East, the dynamics of the region has taken a complete overhaul.
Khandu said during the erstwhile regime of the Congress, North Eastern States had to visit New Delhi at least twice a month with their respective issues and problems. However, after the Modi government assumed office at the Center, New Delhi comes to the North East at least once every month, he pointed.
“Since 2014, hundred-plus visits have been made to the North Eastern States by union ministers along with their officers to resolve issues pertaining to respective states,” Khandu said.
Citing connectivity as the only means to all round development of the state, the Chief Minister emphasized the need to have an airport in the state capital. He requested the Prime Minister to consider sympathetically to the proposal for a greenfield airport at Hollongi near here.
He also sought assistance for revamping and restoring old government infrastructure like offices, quarters and other assets that were built during the NEFA times and have long outgrown their shell life.
Meanwhile, Khandu reiterated his stance to have a separate cadre of civil service officers for Arunachal Pradesh. “Ours is such a distinct state with so many tribes and history. Civil service officers come here to serve only for two years at a stretch. They don’t get enough time even to understand how many tribes are here and their issues. How can they contribute to their capacity in resolving issues and support the government to take the state forward?” he questioned. “Give me a dedicated cadre of civil servants specific to Arunachal Pradesh and I promise to change the face of Arunachal Pradesh,” Khandu added.
On the occasion, Governor Brig (Dr) B.D Mishra (Rtd) felicitated the Prime Minister with gifts. Earlier, Union MoS Home Kiren Rijiju in his welcome address said that the centre is giving special attention to north east and state of Arunachal Pradesh in particular, adding that the state is having accelerating pace of development since 2014.
Also present on the occasion were Arunachal Pradesh Speaker T N Thongdok, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, MoS DoNER Jitendra Singh and state’s UD, Housing Minister Nabam Rebia, Assam MP Ramen Deka, Arunachal East MP Ninong Ering and State BJP President Tapir Gao.