Chief Minister Pema Khandu appealed to the youths of Tirap, Changlang and Longding (TCL) districts who have strayed into insurgency to “come back and join the mainstream for a better Arunachal.”
Attending the celebration of Pongtu festival of the Tutsa tribe here in Tirap district on Monday, the CM said, “Insurgency is not a solution to any problem. TCL region has suffered a lot due to it. We want peace and we want development.”
He said that, under the state government’s surrender policy, “all such returnees will be taken care of and helped rejoin the mainstream.”
Taking serious note of the deaths of innocent civilians in anti-insurgency operations, he informed that the state’s director general of police has been asked to coordinate with the security forces deployed in the region and evolve a proper SOP to avoid civilian casualties during such operations.
“Both the central and the state governments are serious and committed to bring a solution to this decades-old issue. Peace talks are going on and we put our faith on the central government and all stakeholders to iron out a permanent and peaceful solution sooner than later,” he said.
Khandu gave assurance that he would “push the central government to open up tourist circuits in the region,” and informed that tourist circuits were not offered in the TCL region by the home affairs ministry on the ground that there were not enough police stations to provide security to visitors.
“This has changed in the last few years. I myself inaugurated several police stations in these three districts in recent times. Hopefully, the central government will accept our request,” he said.
Khandu, however, reminded the people that boosting tourism in the region and making it sustainable would depend entirely on the local residents.
“Government, through its various schemes, can just assist, but the locals will have to voluntarily put in their efforts if tourism has to flourish,” he said.
Congratulating the people of eastern Arunachal for having some of the best road networks in the region, Khandu informed that the union road transport & highways ministry recently approved 27 new road projects in the state, worth more than Rs 500 crores.
“Villages still unconnected will be connected through PMGSY or any other scheme in the coming years,” he assured.
Speaking about PMGSY roads, Khandu informed that Phase 1 and Phase 2 are under implementation in the state and Phase 3 will begin next year.
“As a matter of fact, Phase 1 and Phase 2 should have been completed by this March. However, owing to difficult terrain of the state, the central government has given a one-time relaxation and extended the phases till September. I appeal to all concerned to ensure that all PMGSY works are completed by September, else the funds will lapse,” Khandu said.
Responding to the people’s request to develop the general ground here, the CM handed over a sanction order copy of Rs 20 crores to local legislator Wanglan Sawin.
He also assured to provide fund for the construction of a Tutsa heritage centre and a road from Khimyun to Waka via Lazu in the days to come.
Among others, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, MP Tapir Gao, and ministers Wangki Lowang, Honchum Ngandam and Kamlung Mossang attended the festival. Earlier in the day, Khandu dedicated the newly constructed mini-secretariat here to the people.