Gangtok, May 21 (IANS) Chief Minister Pema Khandu has sought the central government’s support to ensure all-round development in Arunachal Pradesh.
“Arunachal started very late in the development sphere, and this calls for continued support from the Centre as it is 100 per cent dependent on it,” Khandu told Home Minister Rajnath Singh at the first review meeting of the India-China border infrastructure on Saturday.
The Chief Minister, however, said the state is moving towards self-reliance as it was coming up with policies to tap vast resources to convert these into capital.
Besides Khandu, the meeting held at the Chintan Bhawan here was attended by Chief Ministers Mehbooba Mufti (Jammu and Kashmir), Virbhadra Singh (Himachal Pradesh), Trivendra Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand) and Pawan Kumar Chamling (Sikkim).
Citing connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh as the biggest hurdle to development, Khandu specifically raised concern over migration of people away from the border areas due to lack of basic public facilities and called for steps from the central government to prevent it.
He, however, praised the initiative of New Delhi to build a frontier highway in the state connecting 11 districts bordering China.
The Chief Minister also informed the Home Minister of declining public perception of the Border Roads Organisation’s (BRO) work efficiency, which ground level BRO officials attributed to decrease in the BRO’s funds.
Appreciating the Home Ministry for enhancing the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) fund from Rs 900 crore to Rs 1100 crore this year, the Chief Minister, however, said when these BADP funds are broken down among the states, Arunachal gets very little.
He also raised the issue of the state’s inability to pay 10 per cent share for release of BADP funds, and requested the Union Home Ministry to take up the matter in the next cabinet meeting.
On Arunachal’s support to central paramilitary forces, the Khandu said that the state cabinet has decided to grant Rs 50 lakh instead of an earlier Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia for the central forces jawans who are martyred while on duty in Arunachal Pradesh.
Khandu said those troopers left physically disabled in action will be granted Rs 10 lakh instead of Rs 1 lakh ealier.