Arunachal: Khandu urges TCL youth to shun insurgency for progress

Khonsa: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu has appealed to all indigenous youths of Tirap, Changlang and Longding districts, who have strayed into an insurgency, to return to the mainstream for a better Arunachal.

“Insurgency is not a solution to any problem. The TCL region has suffered a lot due to it. We want peace and we want development,” he said on the auspicious occasion of the Pongtu festival of the Tutsas here on Monday.

He said that under the state government’s surrender policy, all such returnees will be taken care of and helped re-join the mainstream. Appealing to all strayed youths to come back, surrender and embrace peace, he asserted violence and gun culture only end in bloodshed, which nobody wants.

Khandu also took serious note of the deaths of innocent civilians in anti-insurgency operations and cited these as serious collaterals of insurgency in the area. He said the state’s director-general of police has been asked to coordinate with the security forces deployed in the region and evolve a proper SOP to avoid civilian casualties during such operations.

“Both the central and the state governments are serious and committed to bringing a solution to this decades-old issue. Peace talks are going on and we put our faith in the central government and all stakeholders to iron out a permanent and peaceful solution sooner than later,” he said.

Observing that the three districts have immense potential for growth of tourism, Khandu said he would push the central government to open up tourist circuits in the region. He informed that tourist circuits were not offered in TCL by the MHA on the ground that there were not enough police stations in view of providing security to visitors.

“This has changed in the last few years. I myself inaugurated several police stations in these three districts in recent times. Hopefully, the central government will accept our request,” he said.

Khandu, however, reminded that boosting tourism in the area and making it a sustainable livelihood will entirely depend upon the local residents. Government, through its various schemes, can just assist but the locals will have to voluntarily put in their efforts if tourism has to flourish, he said.

He called on local entrepreneurs and businessmen to invest in the sector, to begin with.

Congratulating the people of eastern Arunachal for having some of the best road networks in the region, Khandu said 27 new road projects worth more than ₹500-crore were recently approved by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways for Arunachal Pradesh.

“Villages still unconnected will be connected through PMGSY or any other scheme in the coming years,” he assured.

Speaking about PMGSY roads, Khandu said Phase 1 and Phase 2 are under implementation in the state and Phase 3 will begin next year.

“As a matter of fact, Phase 1 and Phase 2 should have been completed by this March. However, owing to the difficult terrain of the state, the central government has given a one-time relaxation and extended the phases till September. I appeal to all concerned to ensure that all PMGSY works are completed by September or else the funds will lapse,” Khandu said.

Responding to a common request of the people for the development of the Khonsa general festival ground, where all major festivals of the district are celebrated, Khandu handed over the sanction order copy of ₹20-crore to the local legislator Wanglan Sawin.

He also assured sanction for the construction of a Tutsa Heritage Centre and a road from Khimyun to Waka via Lazu in the days to come.

The festival was also attended by deputy chief minister Chowna Mein, Lok Sabha member Tapir Gao, cabinet ministers Wangki Lowang, Honchum Ngandam and Kamlung Mossang, MLAs Wangling Lowangdong, Phosum Khimhum, Wanglan Sawin, Zignu Namchoom and Chakat Aboh. Also Read: MP Tapir Gao bats for wider coverage of govt schemes

Earlier in the day, Khandu dedicated the newly-constructed Mini Secretariat, Khonsa, which houses the offices of the Tirap Deputy Commissioners and other offices.

Speaking on the occasion, deputy chief minister Mein said, “our culture is our pride and the various festivals celebrated depict Arunachal Pradesh as a land of unity in diversity.”

Lauding the colorful traditional attires and dances of the Tutsa community presented on the occasion, Mein said that Arunachal Pradesh is ‘very rich in cultural heritage’ which needs to be thoroughly researched and preserved through documentation.

“Our government is committed to work for the welfare of the people,” he said.

“This year’s Budget is full of reforms. We have crossed an important milestone and crossed the 25000 crore mark this year. Our GSDP for 2022-23 has been taken as conservative figure of Rs 29732 crore. But we are confident that we will reach the 30000 Cr GSDP coming year,” Mein said.

He added that the state government has taken a major decision to pay premium for contingent workers, casual labourers and ALCs aged between 18 to 50 years working in government giving them social security under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY).

“The state government has also decided to introduce an Online Pension Management System for easy management of the pension and other pensioners’ benefits to the retired government employees,” he said adding, the government is very much concerned about the unemployment problem in the state.

In this direction, establishment of Arunachal Pradesh Innovation and Investment Promotion Park is a major step where young entrepreneurs are being incubated to make them as job givers rather than job seekers. Arunachal Pradesh Start-up Policy is also in the pipeline which will support young enterprising minds, he pointed out.

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