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Governor calls for unified efforts

Guwahati, Feb. 14: Arunachal Pradesh governor Nirbhay Sharma has called for a review of the development plan to ensure that villages along the state’s border are self-sustaining and self-reliant.

In his address on the concluding day of the two-day conference of governors at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi today, he called for a bold rehabilitation policy and the setting up of a border area security and development authority, which should co-ordinate efforts and resources of the Centre and the state.

He added that of the 17 districts of the state, 13 have international borders. Around 2.7 lakh of the population of the state — approximately 20 per cent of the total population — resides in around 1,600 villages of 41 border blocks.

Sharma said given the geo-strategic factors and sensitivity of relationship with China in particular, it is in national interest to ensure security, economic vibrancy, prosperity and peace in Arunachal Pradesh.

“The creation of strategic infrastructure in terms of road, rail and air connectivity, along with matching electronic and IT support, are vital for the security and economic growth of the state,” he said.

He also called for a clarity of roles between the DoNER ministry and the North Eastern Council and their interface with the PMO, Planning Commission and the respective states. In case of Arunachal Pradesh, it has vital security imperative as well.

Expressing concern over the rivalry between outfits for domination and extortion demands on the citizens in Tirap, Changlang, and Longding districts in the eastern part of the state, the governor suggested a unified coordinating apparatus at the state level.

All the stakeholders — state government, army, Assam Rifles, ITBP, BRO and other central government agencies — could interact on a regular basis to deal with vital issues of security in the border and disturbed areas in a coordinated manner.