Arunachal to be major gateway to South East Asia: PM Modi
Yupia (Arunachal): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the Centre is working to make Arunachal Pradesh a major gateway to South East Asia.
In a video message to the people of the state on the 36th statehood day, Modi said that modern infrastructure is being constructed in Arunachal Pradesh considering its importance from the national security perspective.
Arunachal Pradesh got the status of a state from Union territory on this day in 1987.
The prime minister said that it has been his firm belief that eastern India and particularly the northeast will be the engine of the country’s development in the 21st century.
“We will transform Arunachal Pradesh into a major gateway to South East Asia,” he said.
Despite inclement weather, over 10,000 people thronged the newly constructed Golden Jubilee Outdoor Stadium, the venue of the celebrations, which was immersed in festive colours amidst a massive security blanket.
“I am satisfied that the government is justifying the confidence reposed by you on us under young Chief Minister Pema Khandu’s leadership. Your faith encourages the double engine government to work harder,” Modi said in his address via video conference.
“Unprecedented work has been done to speed up the state’s development in the last seven years. Comprehensive work on connectivity and power infrastructure is making life and business easy in the state,” he said.
Along with Itanagar, connecting all the state capitals in the Northeast by railway has been our priority, he asserted.
“Considering the role of Arunachal Pradesh from the national security perspective, modern infrastructure is being built,” Modi said.
He also quoted lines from Bharat Ratna Bhupen Hazarika’s famous song ‘Arunachal Hamara’, saying that no function is complete without this song.
The prime minister praised Arunachal Pradesh for promoting the feeling of patriotism and social harmony. He paid tributes to martyrs from the state who laid down their lives for the country.
“Be it the Anglo-Abor war or the security of the border after Independence, the tales of valour of the people of Arunachal Pradesh is a priceless heritage for every Indian,” Modi said.
He noted that Arunachal Pradesh is progressing in harmony with nature and culture.
“Due to your efforts, Arunachal Pradesh is one of the most important areas of biodiversity,” Modi said, complimenting the people of the border state.
He also expressed happiness at the chief minister’s efforts for development in the fields of health, education, skill development, women empowerment and self-help groups.
The prime minister also praised Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju for continuously working for the development of the state.
“When I talk with Rijiju, our focus remains on how to take the state forward,” the prime minister said.
Modi reiterated his commitment to realising the state’s tourism potential at the global level.
“The people of the state are known for their stupendous talent and hardworking nature. May the state scale new heights of development in the times to come,” he tweeted earlier.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah also greeted people of the state on the occasion.
“Greetings to our sisters and brothers of Arunachal Pradesh on their statehood day. The state is blessed with immense natural beauty and hardworking citizens. May the state keep progressing in the years ahead,” Shah tweeted.
Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brig (Retd.) B D Mishra emphasised on harnessing digital power.
He said that cultural heritage, health, education, prudent use of natural resources and development of infrastructure are pillars of prosperity of the state.
“We need to focus on harnessing our rich potential in horticulture, tourism, hydro-power to ensure that we not only become self-sustainable but also adequately contribute towards the growth of the nation,” Mishra said.
Khandu said that month-long celebrations were held from January 20 to commemorate 50 years of naming of Arunachal Pradesh.
Recalling the 50 years of glorious journey of the state, the chief minister said that the future goals would be realised through holistic approach and called upon stakeholders to join hands with the government for development of the state.
“We should work as a team to take the state forward. The government cannot work alone and all stakeholders need to think in a pan-Arunachal motive to bring about all-round development in the state,” Khandu said, crediting former chief ministers, agency council members and others for their contributions in development of the state.
He praised the Centre for steering development activities in the state.
Referring to the serious issue of drug abuse, Khandu called upon the community-based organisations, students’ bodies and other stakeholders to put concerted efforts to curb the menace.
He advocated preservation and protection of the rich culture and heritage of the tribal communities, and noted that “loss of culture is loss of identity”.
The chief minister pointed out that despite the establishment of more than 3,000 schools in the state since NEFA days, the quality of education, however, has not improved significantly.
“No visible qualitative development in the education sector has been witnessed. We should lay more emphasis on quality education,” he said.
The governor conferred the ‘Arunachal Ratna’, the highest state honour, to the first Lieutenant Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, Late KAA Raja, which was received by his eldest daughter Vijayalakshmi on the occasion.
The governor also released a commemorative postal stamp honouring 50 years of the naming of Arunachal Pradesh.
Former chief ministers and agency council members were felicitated for their contributions, and cultural events and indigenous games were held.