Manmohan Singh launches several new projects for Arunachal Pradesh

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Itanagar, Jan 31 : Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today announced several new projects amounting to over Rs. 4000 crores for Arunachal Pradesh. They including a new rail link between Itanagar and Harmuti, grid based power project to cover all border villages and a helicopter service between Guwahati and Tawang.

Dr. Singh announced a programme for the electrification of all households in the State. The Rs 550 crores project will utilise solar power, micro-hydel projects and also grid based power to cover all villages in the border areas and will be completed in two years.

He also laid the foundation stone of the new Secretariat building, the Pare and Dibang power projects and the Itanagar water supply scheme. The Dibang project will generate over Rs 300 crores of revenue for the State from the free power it is entitled to.

"If we build similar projects across the State, then the State can generate annual revenues of Rs 3000-4000 crores. This step alone can change the fortunes of the State," he said.

Besides the operationalising of airports at Pasighat, Along, Daporijo, Ziro and Tezu, a new greenfield airport will be set up at Itanagar, Dr Singh said, adding that the infrastructure at Tuting, Mechuka, Pasighat, Vijainagar and Walong airports will be upgraded. Dr. Singh also announced daily helicopter service between Guwahati and Tawang. He said a two-lane Trans-Arunachal Pradesh Highway will be built at cost of Rs 5500 crores. The 1840-kms highway will connect Tawang with Mahadevpur, and will pass through Bomdi La, Nechipur, Sippa, Sagalee, Ziro, Daparijo, Along, Pasighat, Roing, Tezu, Mahadevpur, Namchik, Changlang, Khonsa and Kanubari.

"It will contribute to the economic development of the State and create new employment opportunities for the youth of Arunachal Pradesh," Dr Singh said. He said in three to four years Itanagar will be connected with a four-lane highway. Dr Singh also inaugurated the Naharlagun-Nirjuli Drinking Water Project, which will provide water to 80,000 people.

The Centre has given Rs 77 crores for the drinking water supply project for Itanagar, besides Rs 400 crores for the reconstruction of areas damaged by floods.

The Planning Commission has allocated Rs 265 crore for the completion of incomplete projects this year, Dr. Singh said.

Dr. Singh, who is on his first visit to Arunachal Pradesh, placed emphasis on increasing the growth rate of the Northeast region.

He said: "Our government has given the highest priority to the development of the North Eastern Region, including Arunachal Pradesh,"

He pointed out four major areas where work is needed to ensure rapid development of the State. The areas are good connectivity with the rest of the country - through roads, railways and airports, good infrastructure within the State - roads, power and drinking water, much better educational and health facilities, and all round economic development - in tourism and in food processing.

"It is only through these measures and through the all round development of Arunachal Pradesh can we ensure that the nation moves ahead in step towards a glorious future," he said.

Dr Singh, who is here on a two-day visit, said the purpose of his visit is "to meet you, see some of the beautiful parts of your State, commence work on some important projects and discuss what more needs to be done for Arunachal Pradesh."

Earlier, Dr. Singh visited the Ramakrishna Mission Hospital, one of the biggest in the region, to meet some of the patients and to enquire after their health.

Dr. Singh was accompanied by Governor J J Singh and the Union Minister for Development of Northeastern Region, Mani Shankar Aiyar. Dr. Singh lauded the efforts of the Ramakrishna Mission in development works.

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