DoNER minister wants speedy implementation of Arunachal projects

New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) Union Minister of State for Development of Northeastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh on Friday called for speedy implementation of various pending projects in Arunachal Pradesh, including an airport at Itanagar.

He said this during a meeting with the northeastern state’s Chief Minister Kalikho Pul who called on him here.

In his first meeting with Singh after taking over as chief minister in February this year, Pul expressed satisfaction at the cooperation and support offered to his government by the DoNER ministry in implementation of various developmental works in the state, an official statement said.

Singh brought to the notice of Pul that there were certain pending projects in Arunachal Pradesh which required to be taken up on an urgent basis.

“In this regard, he particularly mentioned the construction of airport at Itanagar which, he said, had got unduly delayed because of the issues related to identification of site and land acquisition,” the statement said.

“He said that the demand for an airport has been longstanding and the people of Arunachal Pradesh should no longer be deprived of it. He suggested to the chief minister to expedite this project and initiate the construction work at the earliest with a befitting foundation stone laying ceremony,” it stated.

According to the DoNER minister, since connectivity continued to be a major issue in Arunachal Pradesh, the scenic richness of the state remained underutilised and tourism potential could not be exploited.

Another delayed project which Singh referred to was the setting up of the Film and Television Institute in Arunachal Pradesh.

He said union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had allocated a film institute to the state in last year’s Union Budget, but till date, the formalities regarding land identification and acquisition have not been finalised because of which the work could not start.

Singh urged Pul to expedite this project which would be a boost for film shooting units and also add to the state’s revenues.

Singh also referred to the construction of an assembly-cum-secretariat complex at Itanagar for which the initial timeline was February-March 2015, resulting in a delay of over one year.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking personal interest in each of the developmental projects in Arunachal Pradesh as well as in other northeastern states and therefore, this was a great opportunity for the state which should not be missed.

Pul appreciated the response of the union government and Prime Minister Modi to the issues and priorities put forward by the Arunachal government and expressed confidence that, with the support of the Centre, the northeastern state will usher in a new era of development.

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