Centre committed to developing Arunachal: VP

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Itanagar, Nov 26 (UNI) The Centre has realised the priority of Arunachal Pradesh and the recent visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the state and subsequent announcement of nearly Rs 20,000 crore developmental package bears testimony to it, Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari said.

Dr Ansari, who arrived here yesterday on his maiden visit, during a meeting with Governor Gen (retd) J J Singh, Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu and other cabinet ministers at the Raj Bhavan, said the state has lot of potential and the Planning Commission has to change its population-based criteria to help it.

During the hourlong meeting, the Vice-President was apprised of various developments and the initiatives of the state government.

Dr Ansari lauded the state government for creating an investment-friendly atmosphere through its new industrial policy.

He advocated more priority to state considering its uniqueness and sensitiveness.

He said the Prime Minister's package includes airports, railway lines, roads, electricity, which is helping the state to open up.

On Trans-Arunachal highway, Gen Singh said the gigantic project would benefit the people. The post of Chief Engineer (Highways) has been created and senior officers of ministry of road transport posted, he said in response to a question from the Vice-President, official sources said.

The Governor also highlighted power projects, raising of four battalions of Arunachal Scouts and initiative of the state government on tourism as part of its dedicated effort to address unemployment.

The Chief Minister urged the Dr Ansari to help recruit more youths from the state in armed forces and said the youths were well acquainted with the topography and had the physical fitness for it.

The Vice-President, who arrived in yesterday morning to the state, was accorded a ceremonial state reception at the Raj Bhavan helipad. In the afternoon, he along with his wife Salma Ansari made a short trip to Ziro before coming back to the state capital, the sources added.

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