ITANAGAR, Nov 23: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Wednesday projected eight pillars of focus – health, education, connectivity, electricity, livelihood, agriculture, sanitation and water supply – for overall development of villages of the state which according to him would also help curb migration of rural populace to urban areas.
Citing these as the key areas of focus, Khandu, presently on a three-day tour to West Siang district from today, informed that the State Government is chalking out a broad plan to work on these and empower all villages of the state in coming years.
Attending the Golden Jubilee celebration of Biru village in the district, Khandu said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been giving special attention to empower villages through so many centrally sponsored schemes and programs, with which the state government is dovetailing its own schemes so that villagers of Arunachal avail maximum benefit.
He said that once the mentioned eight areas of focus – proper health facility, quality education, all-weather connectivity, 24x7 power supply, sustainable livelihood, economically viable agriculture, sanitation and hygiene and potable water supply to each household – is achieved, villages and villagers will be empowered.
“The most important unit of our country is a village. Only when our villages are empowered, the country will develop. Arunachal’s identity is in our villages,” Khandu said.
Expressing concern over migration of people from villages to urban towns and cities, Khandu said if this is not checked one by one the state’s villages will disappear and so would the distinct cultural identity of the state.
“We are committed to ensure that all our villages are empowered with all facilities so that they continue to thrive,” he assured.
Khandu urged the Gram Panchayat leaders, Gaon Burahs and village elders to closely monitor all schemes and programs being implemented in their respective villages and ensure quality of work and its timely completion.
He expressed happiness on knowing that Biru village, established 50 years ago, has preserved the rich cultural heritage of the Galos. He commended that the entire village of 50-plus households are 100% followers of the indigenous Donyi Polo faith.
“Galos are the torchbearers of the state with perhaps the largest number of government employees. Other communities look up to you. You have the responsibility to lead from the front and set examples for others to follow,” he said.
On road connectivity, Khandu assured that all under construction portions of Trans Arunachal Highway in the district will be completed by next year. He informed that the target has been conveyed to the concerned department and contractors and that his office will be closely monitoring.
He also informed that the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has approved sanction of additional 2500-kms of highways for the state worth Rs 44,000 crore.
Responding to a one-point memorandum submitted by the villagers, Khandu assured that funds for construction of a village playground would be released within this financial year. “I have already directed the RWD engineers to consult with the villagers, find a suitable location and submit a detailed project report to the CMO,” he revealed.
On a three-day visit to West Siang, the Chief Minister earlier in the day inaugurated the newly constructed building of the Aalo circuit house, the Golden Jubilee Gate of Biru village and the Taken Riba DBA indoor badminton stadium while declaring open the 9th Chief Minister’s Sub-Veteran and Veteran State Badminton Championship 2022 at Aalo.
He also inspected the under construction outdoor sports stadium in the town, which was sanctioned in 2018. Khandu expressed disappointment over the pace of progress and instructed the executing agency and the contractor to complete the project by March 2023 by engaging more manpower and working 24x7.
Also present were Textiles & Handicrafts Minister Tumke Bagra, MLAs Nyamar Karbak, Kento Jini, Gokar Basar and Kardo Nyigyor. The Chief Minister will be visiting Kamba on Thursday.