National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 14 November 2019
Road to ‘New India’ runs through ‘New North-East India’, says Raksha Mantri
Government is planning to set up North East Industrial Corridor that will create numerous job opportunities for the people of the region. This was stated by Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh during his address at the 11th Maitree Diwas Celebrations in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh today. Raksha Mantri said, the Arunachal Corridor will act as a land bridge between India and South East Asia that will provide employment opportunities and give fillip to trade and tourism.
Rajnath Singh underlined the special emphasis of the Government on the development of the North East region under the Act East Policy, adding “India is marching forward on the path of all-round progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi”. He said, “Road to ‘New India’ runs through ‘New North-East India’.”
Reaffirming Government’s commitment to improve connectivity in border areas, Raksha Mantri said, approval to construct a tunnel at Sela Pass to Tawang, operationalisation of Pasighat Airport, nod to set up Hollongi Airport near Itanagar and work to establish three strategic Railway lines in the region are some of the decisions in that direction. He said, the projects will provide all-weather connectivity to the local population, facilitate the movement of the Armed Forces and give a boost to tourism. He also lauded the Five-Year Road Plan of Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Shri Pema Khandu under which all the existing inter-state and inter-district roads will be upgraded to State highway specifications by 2024.
Speaking on Maitree Diwas, which is showcasing the local culture as well as modern military demonstrations, including Helicopter flypast and weapon display, Shri Rajnath Singh said, 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’.
Raksha Mantri also urged the youth of the border state to actively 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. Shri Rajnath Singh said, his Ministry is also 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.
The two-day socio-military cultural extravaganza is jointly organised by the Indian Army, Tawang Civil Administration and volunteers at the High-Altitude Stadium, which stands as a testimony to the spirit of solidarity and patriotic fervour that runs deep amongst the locals of Tawang district.
Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh was the chief guest of the event, which was jointly inaugurated by Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Shri Pema Khandu and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Command Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan. ‘Know Your Army’ is the theme of the event that is enlightening the youth about the Armed Forces and motivating them to adorn the uniform one day and serve the motherland. The inaugural event commenced with vibrant cultural programmes culminating in a scintillating performance by military pipe bands.
Later, Rajnath Singh visited Tawang War Memorial and offered tributes to the fallen soldiers who made supreme sacrifice during the War of 1962. Raksha Mantri will end his day with Barakhana with troops. He is on a two-day visit to the North-Eastern state.
Shailesh Kumar is an independent journalist with over 17 years of experience in crime, political and defence reporting for leading media brands including Star News, India TV and NewsX. He is the founder editor of defence and security news portal, National Defence.