Correspondent ITANAGAR, Nov 14 - Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today said the Government is planning to set up a North East Industrial Corridor that will create numerous job opportunities for the people of the region.
Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh speaking at the Maitree Diwas function in Tawang on Thursday. – Photo: Tapan Kumar Das
Singh, who is on a two-day visit to the frontier State, said the Arunachal corridor would act as a land bridge between India and South East Asia, that will provide employment opportunities and give a fillip to trade and tourism.
The Union Defence Minister was speaking at the 11th Maitree Diwas celebrations at Tawang bordering China. The two-day socio-military cultural extravaganza is being jointly organised by the Indian Army, Tawang civil administration and volunteers at the Gyalwa Tsangyang Gyatso High Altitude Stadium, Tawang.
Underlining the Centre’s special emphasis on the development of the North East region under the Act East Policy, Singh said, “Road to ‘New India’ runs through ‘New North East India’.”
The Union Defence Minister said that the approval to construct a tunnel from Sela Pass to Tawang, operationalisation of the Pasighat airport, nod to set up the Hollongi airport near Itanagar, and work on establishing three strategic railway lines in the region are decisions that reaffirm the Government’s commitment to improve connectivity in the border areas.
He said the projects would provide all-weather connectivity to the local population, facilitate the movement of armed forces, and boost tourism. Singh lauded the five-year road plan of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu under which all the existing inter-State and inter-district roads would be upgraded to State highway specifications by 2024.
Speaking on the Maitree Diwas, which showcased local culture as well as modern military demonstrations, including a helicopter flypast and weapons display, Singh said that the festival symbolises the patriotism of the people of the region and their close relationship with the armed forces.
He said this “civil-military friendship” is an assurance that the nation’s borders are doubly safe. He called for oneness among people, civil administration, police and Central Armed Police Forces to realise the dream of ‘New India’.
The Union Defence Minister also urged the youth of the border State to join the armed forces. “The people of Arunachal Pradesh are known for their patriotism. My ministry will see that Army recruitment centres are set up in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh, including Tawang,” he added.
Singh said his Ministry is planning to set up an Army liaison cell in Itanagar to facilitate cooperation with the Army for operational purposes in Arunachal Pradesh. It will be a single-window entity for all issues, he said.
Singh was the chief guest of the Maitree Diwas event, which was jointly inaugurated by Chief Minister Pema Khandu and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Command, Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan.
Later, the Union Defence Minister visited the Tawang War Memorial and offered tribute to soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice during the War of 1962. Singh also visited the Tawang Monastery and offered prayers.