In a major boost to rail connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh, the Centre has released Rs 47.18 crore to the Northeastern Frontier Railway (Construction) for survey work for three lines in the NE states, including the Misamari–Tawang line.
Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra informed this to Arunachal Pradesh chief secretary Satya Gopal through a letter on November 10 last, said an official communiqué informed in Itanagar on Thursday.
Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman along with a team of senior officers from the ministry, including Mitra, had held a high level meeting with Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijjiju, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, state Land Management Minister Nabam Rebia and senior state government officials headed by Chief Secretary Satya Gopal on November 4 during her visit to the state.
Sitharaman had assured release of requisite funds for conducting the survey for laying the strategic railway line from Missamari (Assam) to Tawang bordering the Tibet region of China. The defence secretary assured the state government that there would be no funding constraints and necessary resources would be made available for the work. He said that the Indian Railways have been requested to intimate exact requirement of additional fund during 2017-18. The defence minister is taking up the issue of early completion of the survey work separately with the railways minister, Mitra added in the letter.
In the meanwhile, Arunachal Pradesh Governor Brig (Retd) B D Mishra on Thursday emphasized on strengthening air as well as road connectivity with ASEAN countries for boosting the socio-economic development of North East region, an official release said.
Attending the meeting of governors of NE states at New Delhi, the governor highlighted the importance and benefits of ‘Act East’ policy and better relationship with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries for the state of Arunachal Pradesh, the release said.
The meeting was convened to hear views of the NE states for the India-ASEAN Special Commemorative Summit, which will be held on January 25 next year at New Delhi where leaders of all ten ASEAN countries are expected to attend.
Highlighting the cultural affiliation, floriculture (Orchids) and organic products of the state, the governor pointed out that Arunachal would immensely benefit if there is greater cooperation in these sectors. “Enhancing connectivity between ASEAN and India is the major thrust of India’s Act East Policy.
Connectivity in the form of road, rail, maritime as well as air links is indispensable in achieving increased cooperation in trade, investment and strengthening people-to-people contacts between nations," he said. Referring to the Stillwell Road, which passes through the eastern district of Changlang to Myanmar, the governor said that Act East policy through the road would reinforce cross border trade in the state.