Terming Arunachal Pradesh as a “jewel in India’s crown”, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday asserted that people of the northeastern state bordering China are filled with patriotism and greet each other with ‘Jai Hind’ instead of the usual ‘Namaste’. Shah, while addressing a rally after signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Arunachal Pradesh government and the National Defence University (NDU) for the establishment of a campus at Pasighat in East Siang district, said the institution will give the youths of the state the opportunity to serve the country.
“Whenever we come to Arunachal Pradesh, we return with energy and patriotism. There is probably no other place in the country other than Arunachal Pradesh where people greet each other with ‘Jai Hind’ instead of the usual ‘Namaste’,” Shah said. He said that after Gujarat, the second campus of the NDU will be in Arunachal Pradesh. “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 projects worth Rs 1,180 crore 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 start-ups worth Rs 394 crore, while 22 projects worth Rs 436 crore have been completed and inaugurated during the day and another 25 projects worth Rs 350 crore would be launched soon,” he said.
Shah inaugurated and laid the foundation for 40 projects worth around Rs 1,000 crore during the day. He said the 2,000 MW Lower Subansiri hydroelectric power 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 crore, but it has now increased to Rs 26,000 crore. Similarly, the state’s GDP has also tripled to Rs 30,000 crore from Rs 10,000 crore. “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 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-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 had 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 crore under the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources (NLCPR), Rs 835-crore worth projects under North East Council (NEC) and Rs 825-worth initiatives under 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.