A new dawn of development for the Northeast: PM Modi after inaugurating new airport in Arunachal | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Boost in connectivity and energy infrastructure is bringing a new dawn of development for the Northeast, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi after inaugurating the new Donyi Polo airport in Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar on Saturday. The PM also dedicated the 600-MW Kameng hydro power project in Arunachal’s West Kameng district to the nation.
“Our government’s priority is the development of the country and welfare of citizens. Launch of connectivity and energy infrastructure projects in Arunachal Pradesh is a new dawn of development for the Northeast,” he said.
‘Era of atkana, latkana, bhatkana is gone’
He said the airport’s foundation stone was laid by him in February 2019 and following his government’s work culture it has been inaugurated.
“You know that we have brought a work culture where we inaugurate the projects, for which we have laid the foundation stone. I laid the airport’s foundation stone in 2019 when polls were about to be held. Today’s inauguration is an answer to the political commentators who considered it a poll gimmick,” said the PM.
“The era of ‘atkana, latkana, bhatkana’ (hindrances, delays, misguidance) is gone,” Prime Minister Modi said.
‘ Today, Northeast gets top priority’
He said the name of the airport reflects the traditions and rich cultural heritage of Arunachal Pradesh: the age-old reverence to the Sun (‘Donyi’) and Moon (‘Polo’) in the state. “Like both the Sunlight and Moonlight are important for mankind, in the same way both the big projects like airports and social welfare schemes are important dimensions of development,” he said.
He added after independence, the Northeast witnessed a different era. “For decades, the region remained a victim of negligence. But when (former PM) Atal (Bihari Vajpayee) ji’s government came to power, for the first time efforts were made to change this. A separate ministry for Northeast’s development was formed. Governments that followed didn’t take the momentum forward,” the PM said.
But, he added, another era of change came in 2014 when “you gave me the opportunity to serve you”.
“Previous govts used to think NE is far away. Villages in border areas were considered the last but our government considered them the first. Today, Northeast gets top priority when it comes to development, be it culture or agriculture, trade or tourism, telecom or textile. After 2014, several villages of Arunachal Pradesh benefited from a campaign to ensure electricity to every village.”
“Donyi Polo airport is Arunachal Pradesh’s fourth operational airport. Even after seven decades of independence, there were just nine airports in the entire Northeast but our government has built seven new ones in the last eight years. Due to this now the number of flights to and fro Northeast has also doubled. There is also scope to develop cargo facilities which will help the farmers to sell their produce outside the state,” he said.
Vibrant border village
He also said it is the government’s endeavour to strengthen the villages in border areas. “We are trying to empower bordering villages by giving them the status of vibrant border village. Development will begin by providing opportunities in the bordering villages. Work on the vibrant border village scheme is going in full swing to stop migration and boost tourism. A special project is going on to deploy local youths in the NCC.”
He had started his speech by chanting ‘Jai Hind’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and congratulating Arunachal Pradesh’s ‘young chief minister’ Pema Khandu and his team, besides its people on getting the state’s first greenfield airport.
(With PTI inputs)

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