Itanagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived here on Saturday on a one-day visit, said the previous government had neglected Arunachal Pradesh for decades, but he is “here to change this”.
“The previous government neglected this state for decades but we are here to change this. New India can only be built if the Northeast is developed well,” he said while addressing a public rally at the IG Park here.
Following his arrival, Modi laid the foundation stones of projects worth Rs 4,000 crore including construction of a greenfield airport at Hollongi, the Sela Tunnel and a permanent campus of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII).
He also launched a new dedicated Doordarshan Channel for Arunachal Pradesh – DD Arun Prabha – and inaugurated a 110 MW Pare Hydroelectric Plant along with the upgraded Tezu Airport and 50 health and wellness centres in the hill state.
Noting that Arunachal is the “Land of the Rising Sun”, the Prime Minister told the massive crowd that the Centre and Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s government are taking every necessary step to make this state strong.
“Arunachal gives strength to our resolves. We are working on projects worth over Rs 13,000 crore for Arunachal. These will improve transportation, health care and benefit the state.
“Arunachal Pradesh is the security gateway of the country and we are taking every step to develop this state,” he added.
Pointing out that Arunachal has the gift of water resources, the Prime Minister said: “It has the capability to generate electricity. However, these gifts of Arunachal weren’t used by the previous governments.”
He said the country can progress only when the Northeast will progress. “Working on the lines of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’, the BJP is trying to develop the state. We will neither limit the budget nor our will power.”
While laying the foundation stone for the Hollongi airport, Modi said: “Since independence, there wasn’t any airport in the state with modern infrastructure or connectivity. But, the BJP government is dedicating two airports to the state. We are trying that through the ‘UDAAN’ scheme. The people of the state can now avail cheap flight services.
“The Tezu airport was built over 50 years ago but no government had the vision to connect the people of this state with other parts of the country. We expanded the airport by spending around Rs 125 crore.”
Apart from air connectivity, he said the Centre was also connecting the state to the rest of the country through railways and roadways.
“In our bid to connect every capital to railways, we have connected Itanagar to the rail network of the country.”
Around 1,000 villages have been connected through roads in the last two years alone and work on Trans Arunachal Highway is also under progress, he said.
“You will soon have a tunnel in Sela, which will reduce the travel time to the India-China border town Tawang by over an hour. This road will be accessible round the year, in all weather conditions,” he said
Modi also congratulated the state and Chief Minister Khandu for providing electricity to every household under the ‘Saubhagya’ scheme. “What Arunachal Pradesh achieved today will soon be achieved by the entire nation.”
On the tourism side, the Prime Minister said developing this sector will bring in more employment opportunities for the youth.
“The people will know about the culture of the state. To give a boost to culture and custom of the state, we launched Arunachal’s first dedicated TV channel, DD Arun Prabha.”
To benefit the farmers of the country, the BJP government has proposed the ‘Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi’ scheme in this year’s Interim Budget, adding that the Centre was also working towards boosting organic farming in Arunachal.
He also informed the audience that the Centre has allocated Rs 44,000 crore funds to Arunachal Pradesh which is double the amount provided by the previous government.
Twelve hydro electric projects of 110 MW were also inaugurated, which according to the Prime Minister, will not only help Arunachal Pradesh but also the adjoining states.
Modi flew into Itanagar from Guwahati earlier on Saturday.