PM announces over Rs 8,000 crore projects for Arunachal

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Itanagar, Jan 31 (UNI) Reiterating the commitment of the Congress-led UPA government to the development of Northeast, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today announced Rs 8000 crore package for implementing various infrastructure development projects in Arunachal Pradesh. Asserting that his government accorded the highest priority to the development of the state, Dr Singh exuded confidence that the North Eastern states would emerge as one of the best regions of the country.

Addressing a public meeting here, the Prime Minister announced launching of several schemes, including two power projects at Pare and Dibang, and provision of electricity to every household in the state.

Underlining that a strategy had been evolved by the Centre for an all-round development of the state, Mr Singh said the thrust areas would be establishing rail, road and air connectivity, development of infrastructure, education and healthcare facilities.

'' I sincerely hope like the Sun, Arunachal Pradesh will rise from the East as a new star and become one of the best regions of our country, '' he averred.

The Prime Minister also announced that Arunachal Pradesh would get a new greenfield airport in Itanagar besides airports at Pasighat, Along, Daporijo, Ziro and Tezu.

Mr Singh noted that a direct helicopter service between Guwahati and Tawang would also begin soon.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the helicopter service, which the Centre would be subsidising up to 75 per cent of the operating cost.

He said the Defence Ministry would also upgrade infrastructure at several areas, including Pasighat and Vijay Nagar.

A trans-Arunachal highway, a drinking water scheme and a new secretariat building were among other projects, announced by Dr Singh, who visited the state in 1986 as Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission.

Observing that steps would be taken by the Centre in accordance with its broad strategy, the Prime Minister said, '' It is only through these measures and all-round development of Arunachal Pradesh that we can ensure that the nation moves ahead in steps towards a glorious future. '' He said Arunchal Pradesh was rich in water resources and had immense potential in hydro-power.

It could generate Rs 300 crore in revenue annually only through Dibang power project, which he inaugurated today.

'' If we build similar projects across the state, the state can generate annual revenue of Rs 3000-4,000 crore. This simple step alone can change the fortune of the state, '' the Prime Minister said.

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