ITANAGAR, April 29 - Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul has reiterated the need to develop close friendship and cooperation between Bhutan and Arunachal. Pul told this to India’s Ambassador to Bhutan, Jaideep Sarkar who called on him here today.
“Arunachal and Bhutan share more than just a border – we also share cultural and religious histories, particularly the communities living in Tawang and West Kameng districts,” said the Chief Minister.
He emphasised on developing the historical, cultural and trade links between the two regions by establishing border trade centres. For this to happen, he stressed on building direct road connectivity from Tawang to Bhutan, which will also provide the shortest connectivity to Guwahati via the Darranga Land Custom Station in Assam’s Nalbari district.
Pul hoped that the development of this route would enable export of agriculture and horticulture produces from Lumla sub-division in the State along with the newly-created Bongkhar Circle headquarters.
The Chief Minister pointed out that the opening of the road from Tawang to Darranga via Tashigaon in Bhutan would bypass the Sela Pass – that often gets blocked due to heavy snowfall during winter and landslides in summer, cutting short the travelling time to Guwahati by almost six hours.
Appreciating Bhutan’s success story in development of hydropower and tourism, he stressed on study tour between the two regions to learn the process of planning and execution adopted in that country.
The visiting envoy said that the Embassy in Bhutan was ready to host delegates from Arunachal coming for study tour to learn about hydropower and tourism development in that country.
Responding to the request from the Chief Minister for opening border trade, Sarkar agreed to convey the matter to the King of Bhutan as well as for road from Tawang to Bhutan.
Also suggesting a way to increase tourist flow in Arunachal, the Ambassador offered to talk to tour operators and the Tourism department in there to launch a Bhutan-Arunachal tour package.