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Tuki seeks aid for Arunachal highway

Nabam Tuki

Itanagar, Aug. 22: Going ahead with the Centre and state governments’ plans to develop and populate areas along the international border, the Nabam Tuki government in Arunachal Pradesh will seek the NDA’s help to construct a “Hinterland Highway”.

During the cabinet meeting held on Tuesday, it was decided that the state will request the Union ministry of home affairs to construct “Hinterland Highway” to arrest migration of people from border areas near the Line of Actual Control to urban centres.

Arunachal Pradesh is the least densely populated states in the country and over the last two decades has experienced mass migration of villagers living near the international boundary to the few urban centres in the state. Although the state shares a 1680km international boundary with Bhutan, China and Myanmar, infrastructural development in the areas has been slow.

Earlier in June, the Union ministry of environment and forests decided to exempt environmental clearances for developmental projects within 100km of the state’s international border. When Union minister of state for home affairs Kiren Rijiju visited his home state in July, he had said “villages in the fringe border areas need to be developed”.

Tuki too had laid special emphasis in his budget speech last month, announcing a number of welfare measures for the people living in border areas. Besides, providing free rice and salt for people living along border areas, the state government will also introduce a loan-cum-subsidy scheme for purchase of medium-sized transport vehicles for transportation of essential commodities in the border areas for eligible unemployed youth.

In Tuesday’s meeting, the state cabinet also decided to reschedule official working hours from 9am to 5pm from April to September and from 9am to 4.30pm from October to March with a half-an-hour lunch break from 1pm. The cabinet also decided to constitute a State Civil Service Board for IFS officers for Arunachal segment of AGMUT, in the hope that it paves way for a separate state cadre.