Fund paucity hurdle for development: Khandu

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Itanagar, Dec 22: Arunachal Pradesh's huge hydro power potential could not be tapped to the desired level due to lack of fund and other hurdles, according to Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu.

Mr Khandu told this to Union Minister of State in PMO Prithviraj Chauhan here yesterday. In a meeting with Mr Chauhan, the Chief Minister stated that 82 per cent of the state is covered with forest, which could generate 75,000 to 80,000 MW of power.

Despite, National Hydro Electric Power Corporation (NHPC), North East Electrical Power Corporation (NEEPCO) and other private players have been engaged for several projects in the state, the resource was yet to be harnessed, Mr Khandu reiterated. Mr Khandu urged the Union Minister to initiate steps to accommodate proposals for its development in the state.

Mr Chauhan is on an unprecedented visit to the state on behalf of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AICC President Sonia Gandhi for paying their last tribute to the veteran party leader O M Deori, whose mortal remains was brought to the state capital yesterday.

The chief minister apprised the AIIC leader of the state's resources like coal, petroleum and tourism which could not be harnessed due to lack of proper infrastructure in road and air connectivity.

He further urged the Union Minister for adequate funds for a greenfield airport in the capital town, for which a detailed project report was being prepared by the Airport Authority of India (AAI).

Mr Khandu also pleaded for relaxation of the Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) funding norm for the benefit of the rural people, enhancing of the present sanction of the 25 meter bridges to not less than 100 meters, sources informed.

Stressing on the need to develop the border areas, the Chief Minister said Rs 2,300 crore would be required to complete the half-done projects in the state and sought for the enhancement of the first allocation of the phase-wise grant from Rs 450 crore to Rs 1200 crore.

Mr Chauhan had assured him to urge the Prime Minister to schedule his visit to the state as early as possible.


UNI

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