The Longding district is born: Challenges aplenty ahead
The 19th March, 2012 will be inscribed in golden letters in the annals of the Wanchos’
chequered history. They have traversed a long and arduous journey from the infamous
head-hunting days to the present day of cut-throat competition when they are raring
to go and create a niche for themselves in all spheres of life. The much- needed
and the long-felt demand of the Wanchos is being realized today when Longding is
being declared the 17th District of the State of Arunachal Pradesh. This is not
only a day of celebration, but a day for serious introspection as the responsibility
of the Wanchos will grow in self-governance and progress. The Wanchos known for their
martial traditions and glorious past are today desperately itching to savour the
sweet taste of modern development and move forward along with the people of other
districts. In this context the decision of the state government to create Longding
district is indeed laudable and praise-worthy as it will help accelerate the pace
Today, as Longding district is born, I am overwhelmed by emotions because I had travelled
the length and breadth of Longding area as a part of my duty. However, once it becomes
a separate district I may not get too many chances to go around in the new district
on official duty. Personally I have a mixed feeling today: a feeling of elation and
sadness. I am elated because the Wanchos will now have this opportunity to govern
themselves and give themselves a chance to be a part of the developmental processes
in the state. Sad, because the Wanchos will no longer remain with us in Tirap district.
Here, I may be permitted to say that development per se leaves a lot to be desired
in most part of Longding district, especially in border areas.
The light of development is yet to reach the far-flung places of the infant district
and the people are yet to savour the sweet fruit of development. During my frequent
tours to different pockets of Wancho areas I observed that the most alarming malaise
afflicting, especially the youth is opium addiction. I saw even teenagers getting
hooked to this addictive drug. This dangerous trend if not arrested now, has the
potential to cripple the Wancho society. The Wancho society must address this burgeoning
problem urgently before it completely destroys the youth in whose hands the future
of Longding district lies.
The alarming number of school drop-outs and lack of proper healthcare facilities,
especially in the interior areas are the other grey areas which the Wanchos must
accord top priority to. Due to the large scale shifting cultivation practised by
the people, especially in the upper Wancho-belt, the green forest cover is fast depleting.
All the hills and mountains appear clean-shaven with no standing trees whatsoever.
Sadly, there is no tangible effort from any quarters for aforestation activities
to replenish the vanishing greeneries. This is a sure recipe for a major catastrophe.
Even the headquarters Longding is bereft of any plantation. The elected leaders,
Panchayat leaders, NGOs, senior citizens and the intelligentsia need a serious brainstorming
on this important issue. The Noctes and the Wanchos had always shared a cordial relation
since time immemorial both during village feuds and peace time. In fact, the Borduria
group of villages had a friendly alliance with Nyonyu and Chanu groups of villages
in the past. So also the Namsang group of villages in Nocte areas maintained cordial
relations with Ninu, Senua and Chopnu. History tells us that during the feuds between
Borduria and Namsang villages, these groups of Wancho villages used to lend support
to their respective alliance partners. However, it is indeed sad that the Wanchos
may have to live with the never ending scourge of insurgency like the people of Tirap
district as no attempt whatsoever is being made to solve the vexed problem. I feel
that with their tenacity, grit and the willingness to work hard, the Wanchos will
leave every tribe in the state behind sooner than later. Though some misguided youth
have chosen the wrong path of violence, many young Wanchos are serving in the Indian
army. In fact, the maximum youth serving in the defence forces from the state are
The Wanchos with the population of 41,109 (according to 2001 census, numbers likely
to change once the 2011 census is published), are known for their intrinsic skills
in gun-making, bead-making, wood carving etc. They have inherited a rich legacy
of songs and dances which are successfully preserved in original form even today
unlike many other tribes in the state. Music is in their blood and all Wanchos seem
to be good singers and dancers as these arts come naturally to them. Recently Nokngam
Lukham was adjudged the first runners up in the Voice of Arunachal singing contest.
He sang into the hearts of all the music lovers irrespective of ethnic entities.
The present Wancho elected leaders are also trying their best to usher in unprecedented
development in the Wancho dominated areas.
In fact, conferring of district status to Longding is the outcome of the persistent
and concerted efforts put in by the Wancho elected leaders. The ever hardworking
WRD Minister, N. Tingkhatra has brought about a sea change in terms of all round
development, especially in Kannubari town and its outskirts. The stupendous development
in the area speaks volumes about his sincere efforts to make a difference in the
lives of the ordinary Wanchos.
The affable, soft-spoken and amiable leader in Honchun Ngandam, Parliamentary Secretary,
Horticulture is leaving no stone unturned to bring smiles to the Wanchos living in
Wakka and Pongchau which are considered to be the most backward due to their remoteness.
Their proximity with Myanmar and Nagaland is not helping their cause at all. Thangwang
Wangham, Parliamentary Secretary, IPR who is known for his oratory skills and out-spoken
nature is quietly preparing a road map for development of Longding and Pumao areas.
Hopefully after Longding becomes a full-fledged district, these able leaders will
have more scopes and opportunities to deliver the goods for the welfare of their
people. Gabriel Denwang Wangsu, owner of The Dawn-Lit Post is doing exceedingly well
in his chosen field of journalism. Besides, there are many unsung Wancho heroes,
who are quietly doing their bit to improve the plight of the ordinary Wanchos.
We must not forget that all the districts in Arunachal Pradesh started the journey
of life together. But to our great chagrin and utter dismay, other districts have
raced past Tirap and Longding districts in matters of development and today the sky
is the limit for them. All key positions in the government jobs are occupied by
young people from other districts. But we cannot complaint. The world has no time
to listen to the complaints of a defeated person. Life is like a game of football
match. When the winning team scores the winning goal the referee blows a long whistle,
the players celebrate and the crowd erupts. On the other hand the losing team rushes
towards the referee, complaining. However, as I said, the world has absolutely no
time to listen to the complaints. The winners take it all. Our Wancho youth must
learn to be winners in life without complaining. We need to change our mindset. If
others can, we too can do it. The world has become fiercely competitive and there
is no place for an average person. Nothing is served on a platter. We must earn everything
by dint of our sincere and honest effort. We must do away with the defeatist tendency
and laid-back attitude that we have been living with for the last many years. The
people of other districts in the state had achieved more success on all fronts because
they took education more seriously right from the beginning. They are also economically
more sound and well-established because they work harder. There is absolutely no
substitute for hardwork. Apparently the Wanchos have many challenges ahead and many
stumbling blocks to surmount to catch up with the other more developed districts.
They need to come out of the cocoon of self-made miseries and look at the big world
outside which is full of avenues, opportunities and possibilities.
The youth are not only the future leaders of tomorrow but also the partners of today.
The onus is on the youth of the newly born Longding district to lead the people
to that cherished goal of all-round progress and prosperity. May Longding district
grow in leaps and a bound is the sincere prayer and wish in every one’s lips on this
auspicious occasion. The blessings of the benevolent Wancho ancestors who first settled
down in this sacred land will pour down from their heavenly abode on this historic
day when the infant Longding district is born. Like any other new born babies, the
Longding district must also be nurtured and taken care of with utmost sincerity and
love to enable it grow to create a place of pride in Arunachal Pradesh. (The writer
can be reached at email@example.com)
Be a partner in development: CM
Media policy in the pipelines
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Chief Minister Nabam Tuki today called upon the state press and
media fraternity to be a partner in development initiative of the government.
The Press is the eyes and ears of people and can play a greater role in creating
a congenial atmosphere to work in, Tuki said while speaking at the launching ceremony
of an English daily newspaper Independent Review, here this evening. He also welcomed
constructive criticism from the press.
Tuki informed that the state media policy was on anvil and the draft will be placed
in the cabinet and the state assembly soon. The policy would include all aspects
of journalism and the welfare of journalists. He also reiterated that the press colony
along with Rs. 2 crore, as promised by former Chief Minister late Dorjee Khandu will
be materialized soon and the private land of 15000 sqmt will be acquired for this
“It is good to see that the 6th daily of the state has been launched today since
the first newspaper Echo of Arunachal was launched in 1988”, said Tuki.
The CM lauded the Meen’s Media for launching the newspaper saying that it will not
only provide unemployment opportunity but also create healthy competition among the
newspapers published from Capital, he said.
While launching the website of this new English Daily, Director of Higher and Technical
Education Dr Joram Begi called upon the media persons to play a impartial role and
desist from presenting sensational news which may create disharmony in the society.
Expressing concern over the attack on press and media persons in recent past, Begi,
however, said, “sometimes, news are presented with revengeful mode with ulterior
motive in the name of investigative journalism.”
The DT&H hoped that new English daily will spread the light of knowledge and serve
the state towards its perfection.
Chairman cum managing director of Meen’s Media, Likha Saaya, who is also MLA cum
Parliamentary secretary, agriculture, dwelt at length on the vision of his media
‘Human error main cause of forest fire’
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Over the last few weeks, the Capital Complex witnessed forest
fire ravaging its adjacent areas, which left fire service personnel on their toes.
It also caused grave concern to the state Govt machinery and Capital dwellers.
According to data made available to this daily, the state capital alone has witnessed
20 to 25 per cent fire accidents during last ten years.
To the utter surprise of everyone, the wildfires were mainly caused by human error
and negligence, not by the lightening spark, sources said. The data reveals that
the number of calls informing such forest fire in Capital region has gone up to 21
this year till March from previous year’s eight. In many cases, ill intention of
capturing forest land by some individuals have been reported as one of main causes
of such forest fire.
Pressing alarm button, the department concerned cautioned that the situation may
worsen further in days to come if preventive measures are not taken immediately.
According to the source, some of the areas like Rajbhawan Heliport and AIR maintenance
station, state museum, Gompa and Donyi-Polo Vidya Bhawan school are highly prone
to forest fire.
The department has been fighting against forest fire successfully despite limited
fire fighting equipments and man power, said Officer in charge Fire Station Itanagar,
S C Mazumdar. Traffic congestions, narrow colony roads, lack of water refilling points
have been the main hurdles in fighting fire by the department, he added.
Mazumdar stressed on the need to educate the people about the causes of forest fire
and handling fire in forest areas, especially during dry season. He suggested the
government to organize mass awareness campaign on forest fire throughout the state.
Three university bills on the cards
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Moved by the yeoman services rendered by charitable institutions,
particularly in the field of education in the state, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki announced
to enhance the grant-in-aid for such institutions from next year.
Speaking at a function to mark the Silver Jubilee Year of the Itanagar Catholic Church
at Nyokum Lapang today, Tuki saluted the pioneers who ventured into Arunachal Pradesh
during her formative years and began imparting education to the masses despite unfathomable
“The contribution of charitable societies like the Catholic Missionaries in evolution
of the modern-day Arunachal is immeasurable. The fruits of hard work by the pioneers
are being reaped today. We are grateful to them!” he said.
Heaping praises on the Missionaries for their determination and dedication, Tuki
pointed out that it is because of them people of this untouched land learnt the art
of living a civilized life. He expressed gratitude to the Catholic Church for running
at least three colleges and innumerable schools in far-flung corners of the state.
He appealed for establishment of more colleges, especially of medical and technical
streams, and assured his Government’s cooperation and help as and where needed. He
also appealed for similar contributions in the health services of the state.
Tuki specifically assured to provide stipend to BPL students living in the hostels
run by charitable institutions in remote areas. He also informed that his Government
is contemplating to introduce at least three University Bills in the next Assembly
session to pave way for establishment of Medical, Technical and Open universities
in the state.
Highlighting his vision for the next Five Year Plan that begins next April, the Chief
Minister said his focus would be on development of Agriculture and Horticulture sectors
as well as employment generation avenues.
“My vision is to create at least one lakh employment avenues in the next five-year
plan term,” he said. Encouraging people to take up horticulture, Tuki urged against
jhumming, which he said is having cascading effect on the forest cover of the state.
He cited the recent forest fires around the state capital and expressed concern that
at this rate the forest cover would go down to minimal.
“Forests are our future. If we don’t preserve them, we will be left with no option
for livelihood,” he opined and pushed the people to work to increase the present
state forest cover of 82% to 90%.
Wishing the people of Catholic denomination on completion of 25 years of the Itanagar
Catholic Churce, Tuki advised them to religiously follow their faith and spread the
message of peace and communal and religious harmony. He also advised the people
not to mix politics with religion.
The Bishop of Itanagar, Dr. Rt. Rev. John Thomas made an official declaration which
has come directly from Pope, that the Cathedral of the Itanagar Diocese shall be
established at Nyokum Lapang which is ‘St. Joseph’s Parish, the patron diocese of
Itanagar. The church at Itanagar was founded at Nyokum Lapang 25 years back. As a
gift for the past 25 years, with a newly erected Parish, the 25 years old church
that had given birth to two or three other Parishes, that multiplied the number of
faithful or believers, has been now blessed with the institution of the ‘Chair of
the Bishop’ of Itanagar which is known as Cathedral. Cathedral is a Latin word which
signifies ‘the Chair”, said the Bishop of Itanagar.
Earlier in the opening day ceremony, Bishop of Itanagar released an Audio Album
entitled as Bingjuk-Soriuk vol (II), in honor of the Silver Jubilee of the Church
at Nyokum Lapang. Various competitions like folk songs and dances, quiz, skit or
drama, etc. were organized in the past two day’s time.
Mr. Nabam Pehi, chairman of the Managing Committee of the silver Jubilee celebration
also spoke on the occasion. Mementos were presented to the pioneering members of
the establishment of the Church as well. Prizes were given to the winners among
the five parishes.
Father Jacob Mattathilany, Vicar General of Diocese and Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil
and hundreds of believers took part in the celebration.
‘It is time to respect diversity in plurality’
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: A 30-member team representing the multi-ethnic cultural milieu
of Bharat, including some India-loving foreigners, arrived here today to spread the
message and reflecting the spirit of Jansatyagraha Samwad Yatra, aimed at covering
350 districts to unite the nation in one thread for one cause.
Led by PV Rajgopalan, Ekta Parishad’s founder, the yatra armed with nine unanswered
questions has a milestone to achieve its goals that aims at symbolizing the true
plurality of this vast sub-continent.
The true spirit of the people’s movement was reflected in the voice of movement’s
year-old volunteer Altai de Saint Albin, a French national: “India is too diverse
to explain”; while British national Simon, an official photographer of the Olympics
Games, who has captured India kaleidoscopically during last 18-years and has been
touring this nation, said: ”If I’ve to choose one of the many great legacies of
India, it would be the spiritual quest India has put at the forefront of life which
no country has done so far.
Oh dear loving Indians….realize what the foreigners have to say about our Motherland!
Are you waiting for Mera Nam Jokkar to happen - India to go abroad and return with
a Russia-famous tag - to realize your greatness?
“Arise, awake and walk till the goal is reached”, Swami Vivekananda said, as there
could not be a better platform than this movement in the post-independence era to
univocally voice – Ham Bharatiya hain, hame ajadi do, harmara adhikar do, sambidhan
ko badal do, sambidhan aur sansad ka ham sahi warish hai?
The volunteers to their surprise were greeted by smiling young Arunachalees, who
extended hospitality in Hindusthani style to prove the great Arunachalee tradition
of Atithi Devo Bhavo, as was told by few European tourists to Chief Minister Nabam
Tuki at India Gandhi Park on Feb 22 – “Arunachal is the best in India”. The Arunachalees
did not forget either to offer the traditional scarf to each member, our common practice
that won the hearts of the guests.
The year-long yatra began from Kanyakumari on October 2 last year that would culminate
at New Delhi after the second phase foot march from Gwalior on October 2 next to
reach the national capital with the foot prints of over one lakh people and voices
of the timmining millions of the suppressed and suffocated, the dejected and the
depressed, the neglected and unnourished, the isolated (Arunachal Pradesh) and illusioned,
including those live beyond the Chicken Neck that links the North East with mainland
India in a decisive bid to realize the people’s rights and demand justice by establishing
a definitive dialogue with the Parliament and the GoI.
“Come to NE to learn not to teach as the region is true example of harmony rising
above caste, creed, religion and region, but its people are ignorant of advertising
their greatness and goodliness,” Rajgopalan said without mincing any words to a gathering
of local people at Arunachal Pradesh Science Centre here today.
“I’m working on – Message from the NE – a book on how to help the mainland learn
from this region. Why do you want a university when the living varsity – NE – is
there that reflects true patriotism with ‘Jai Hind’ greetings by its denizens.
If they have no bank accounts that does not mean they are poor. It is time to respect
diversity in plurality instead of advocating capitalism that is against the basic
principle of the humanity, he said, and cautioned the developmenta-lists against
its cascading impacts, if not implemented properly by incorporating the masses’ aspirations.
It aims at rearticulating a new development process by replacing present up-bottom
theory by bottom-up one to not threaten the very existence of the people. Hem Bhai
from Assam, winner of Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhawana Award, spelt the objectives aimed at
freeing the masses from the bondage of their own government, quoting the essence
of Gandhian philosophy that India, the land of Geeta and Upanishads, reflects the
synthesis of science and spiritual philosophy for the true humanity.
He said the wretched condition of technically advances Japan post-2011 massive earthquake-tsunami,
‘sleeping beauty’ Europe selling its resources to China, USA yet to recover from
the Great Recession and regrettably lndia needs to be awakened for it is going the
West-way by snatching away the land of the poor, their only means of sustenance,
to sell to the MNCs that amounts togulami, for which our freedom fighters fought
against the Britishers.
He strongly opposed large dams in this quake-prone zone that could jeopardise the
existence of downstream people, in case of an earthquake.
“Build as many small dams as possible. Let us live in peace and harmony as brethrens
forever,” he emotionally appealed.
DNGC Commerce associate Prof. Dr A K Pandey painted Arunachal as a true example of
unity in diversity but ‘saras, sarala aur samrudh’.
Development is the essence of life now, he said, and cautioned the planners to guard
against all negative aspects of development to safeguard the rich cultural and traditional
heritage of great Arunachalees.
IFACS general secretary Gichak Taza, Men and Environment Society president Dr Otem
Pertin, Arunachal Pradesh National Youth Project president Hari Biswas and state
Sanskar Bharati president Sukhdev Biswas explained the nitty-gritty of Arunchalee
society, its life style, the powerful village councils and the gaon burahs, but resented
against the major dams in favour of environment-friendly minor dams to meet the need,
not the greed.
DGM SN Chalia explained how his NABARD was engaged in empowering farmers by transferring
the know-how by lab-to-land formula through farmers’ clubs.
“Bikash binash na ho, logoki bipati na ho,” said Arunachal Seva Sangh general secretary
Vishal Nath Rai, citing the example of openness of this Himalayan state, which had
no concept of locking house in 80’s.
The jansatyagrahis, who would begin their return journey Monday morning, included,
among others, Ramesh Sharma, Sitaram Sonwani, Gokaran Verma, Murli Das Sant, Chandrawati
Korva, Harinarayan, Shankar Narayan, Shaji, Davinder Singh, Lakhan Sharma, Santosh,
Gyan Shahane, Priti Tiwary, Dhanraj, Tara Saikiya, Nabin Gogoi, Ridip & Amit Kumar.
GSURGU celebrates pre-Mopin
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Galo Students’ Union Rajiv Gandhi University (GSURGU) celebrated
pre-Mopin festival at University campus on March 16 and 17.
Attending the celebration, former MP Kiren Rijiju stressed on the role of youths
in preservation of age-old customs and traditions of the society.
North East Students Organization (NESO) secretary general Gumjum Haider and AAPSU
Secretary, Finance, Debia Muj also attended the celebration. Various cultural programmes,
including Ponung dance by the students of the university and deliberation on Mopin
Mythology were some of the main highlights of the inaugural day of the celebration
where in the people from all walks of life took part.
Youth Cong leader meets Jaya Prada
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: State’s youth Congress leader and chairman of Basar Assembly Constituency
Overall Development Action Committee (BACODAC), Marpin Basar recently met Member
of Parliament (MP) Jaya Prada and discussed various developmental issues of Basar
in particular and West Siang district in general.
During their meeting, Basar proposed establishment of open university, medical college
and other projects under agriculture, horticulture and education sector in Basar
and other parts of West Siang district by her Jaya Parda Charitable Trust.
Accordingly, she approved the proposal and asked for early submission of all the
detailed project report (DPR), according to a release.
ANYA demands action
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Accusing the Chief Secretary and DGP of their alleged failure to
tackle the law and order problems in the state, All Nyishi Youth Association (ANYA)
today demanded transfer of the duo within 15 days.
Highlighting the recent criminal activities, including recovery of dead bodies at
Chimpu and Papu Nallah, Rs. 2.50 crore forgery scam, torching of APST buses twice
in the capital, burning down of SE office, APPSC office by unknown miscreants and
rampant illegal encroachment of govt. quarters, the ANYA in an ultimatum to Parliamentary
secretary, home, said that both CS and DGP failed to tackle law and order situation.
Even after repeated appeal from various organizations to arrest the culprits involved
in different crimes and to tackle the deteriorating law and order problem, the authority
failed to pay heed to the grievances, it said. ANYA further threatened to launch
democratic movement if its demands is not fulfilled within given time.
Meanwhile, the executive members of All Nyishi Youth Association (ANYA) along with
ANYA Papum Pare District Unit visited Denka and Bogoli village under Doimukh Circle
recently to take first hand information of the villagers settled near Arunachal-Assam
The team appealed to the state government to immediately sanction fund for the renovation
of road from Gumto village to Bogoli forest beat camp and construction of link road
to Kimin Circle via Bogoli, Denka, Buka and Bello villages.
It further appealed to the government to declare Rajghar Ali as the permanent boundary
of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
SDP on Weaving
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: A NABARD sponsored Skill Development Programme on Handloom Weaving
began at Takar Colony, Naharlgun on March 15. Rural Development Society, a local
based NGO is the implementing agency.
The SDP will benefit 30 SHG members in honing their weaving skills for enhancing
Inaugurating the programme, Joint Director, Industries S K Dutta urged the trainees
to make best use of the programme and gave information on the availability of weavers’
credit cards for the weavers.
Toko Okey, Assistant Director, Textlie and Handicrafts RDC, Doimukh said that weavers
credit cards would be considered for the trainees who completed the training successfully
and on the recommendation of the NGO.
Chagam Dolo, BDO Doimukh advised the trainees to concentrate and give full devotion
to acquire required skills so that his office can recommend their names to the banks
and other agencies.
B Dutta BM, APRB, Naharlagun, spoke on the importance of bank loan and the procedures
for availing it.
Dana Tayum, Dev Assistant, NABARD explained the objectives of SDP and called upon
the NGO to implement the programme properly and help the trainees in preparation
of their projects for setting up units through bank loans.
3 houses gutted
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Three houses were gutted in a devastating fire at Yomcha town,
West Siang district on March 15 at around 9.30 pm. All the belongings of the victims
were burnt to ashes in the fire accident, according to Kargu Kardi Students’ Union
Alleging that “the cause of fire accident was due to the electric short-circuit,”
KKSU demanded the authority concerned, especially Power department to take responsibility
for the incident and compensate the fire victims immediately.
KKSU informed that Yomcha ADC and former chief minister Jarbom Gamlin have contributed
few amount to the fire victims.
AWIC National Award for Etalo Mega
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Etalo Mega, Library in charge of Bamboosa Library, Tezu has been
awarded the Librarian of the Year Award 2012 by the Association of Writers and Illustrators
for Children, (AWIC), New Delhi, the pioneers of the Children’s Library movement
The award is in recognition of Mega’s untiring efforts to keep library movement alive
in Arunachal Pradesh.
“He is the only awardee this year from outside Delhi. He fully deserves it for keeping
library movement alive in Arunachal,” Surekha Panandiker, Convenor of the AWIC Children’s
Library Project, said in a telephonic message.
Mega will receive the award on April 2 at a function being held at the Gandhi Peace
Foundation, New Delhi.
The Centre is planning a spoken web service that will prove to be a boon for farmers
living in far flung areas. The spoken web service is basically an interactive medium
for the farming community.
Close to 60 per cent of Indians earn their livelihood through agriculture.
The ministry already provides SMS and an Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS)
service to farmers, giving them farming information, weather and climatic details
to help them meet agricultural targets. The need for spoken web service was felt
as it is easier to provide information through an interactive mode.
In a spoken web service people can speak and interact with web information through
voice. Farmers can dial a toll-free number and ask questions and get them answered.
In some specific cases, questions can be recorded and later answered by experts.
Launched in 2009, the SMS and IVRS system now covers 2.8 million growers.
By 2017 the system is expected to cover 20 million. It has been estimated that the
short and timely alerts to farmers about the weather have led to economic benefits
worth a whopping Rs 50,000 crore annually.
Let us hope for the best
It is surprising to read contradicting news items in print media. There are claims
and counter claims appearing in some local dailies regarding dismal power supply
at Pasighat. One news item that appeared in some local dailies dated March 15 was
about some sections of people threatening to launch democratic movement against the
Government if it fails to restore erratic power supply at Pasighat, the oldest town
of Arunachal Pradesh while the other news item in the same dailies contained report
about some organizations threatening the same Government against proposed dams and
hydropower projects in the area. Every one can feel the nerve of the people who are
crying for immediate restoration of power supply. But we fail to understand why people
hit by power crisis for decades together should go against the dams and hydropower
projects coming up at their very doorstep on river Siang. Rather, these projects
should be welcomed as they are poised to mitigate the existing highly sorry-state
of power supply once for all not only in the particular area but also in the entire
We are all aware of the existing sorry state of development in our region and aspire
for an efficient, strong and qualitative development network with capacity adequate
enough to reach our villages and with flexibility to accommodate the fast growing
needs for the next generations. Today, it is the aspiration of every child and every
community everywhere to move forward with the fast changing world.
Therefore, creation of developmental infrastructure like dams, canals, bridges, railways,
water plants, highways, airports, etc. and their proper utilization is crucial to
boost socio-economic development, security and for elimination of regional disparity.
So, let us hope for the best that the proposed hydropower projects across the state
will be having the potential of bringing about an unprecedented development in our
society which will be a cause of envy for others in the days to come. The indigenous
people and their children will be benefited most. Our educated unemployed youths
will be able to take modern ways of farming and processing enterprises in villages
for added prosperity. Defence and internal security in a strategically located state
like ours would be much better served. Therefore, there is a need to have second
thought on our stance to oppose the hydropower projects being proposed on Siang for
speedy development of the area and the region for generations ahead which is the
need of the hour. We are blessed by Mother Nature with bounty of potentials to transform
the land and people and enhance our living standard at par with the developed people.
We should not let these potentials and opportunities go unavailed, lest our posterity
blame us as we are blaming our forefathers for not being farsighted during the formative
years of our infant State. We should not leave scope to repent tomorrow as we are
repenting today for not being farsighted in the past. Now, having experienced enough
in the past we need to become farsighted and look for sustainable sources to be self-reliant
Another important issue that we need to do now is to put enormous pressure collectively
on both the State and Central Governments to give top priority to prevent China from
diverting water of Siang as reported through media. It should be our endeavour to
expedite any developmental activity particularly in view of the unmindful claim of
China over our State.
At the same time the State Government and the corporate fraternity involved in the
development of hydropower projects should be sincere on their part. They should be
as transparent and people-friendly as possible and have a broad strategy reflecting
the consensus particularly of the indigenous people. It should always be kept in
mind that enlightened common man is the basis of any democratic system, more so in
our region where the communities have been used to a transparent self-governing system
for ages. The indigenous people should invariably be taken into confidence and decision
making first for smooth, uninterrupted and speedy progress of the projects. I have
no hesitation in recalling here that the attitude of District administration and
the authorities of two consecutive power developers who came up to take up the Lower
Siang Hydro Electric Project during the last couple of years was unfortunately lackadaisical
and unfriendly even towards the villagers of Bodak, the host village which I belong
to. We whole-heartedly welcome any developmental project provided the policy and
programs involved are made known to us beforehand. People should be assured with
sincerity and full commitment. The sentiments and genuine voices of the indigenous
people regarding development, welfare measures and security aspects concerning the
people living upstream and down stream, probable social impact, compensation and
rehabilitation packages need to be given focused attention and implemented in true
spirit. Proper dissemination of these facts which are prerequisites can neutralize
and transform the mindset of the people and substantially shorten the increasing
distance. Every effort should be made with state-of-the-art technology to ensure
that probable social impacts are taken care of an and true development reaches up
to the doorsteps of the rural community.
Help us to achieve our goal
It is known to all that opium has hit some parts of Arunachal Pradesh and some people
get addicted to it only to destroy their valuable life.
Here I would like to give focus on Ozakho village under Longding district, where
people were badly addicted to Opium. Seeing this critical situation of Ozakho village,
the All Ozakho Students Union (AOSU) conducted opium Awareness campaign in the village
last year and the campaign brought results as many people stopped smoking of opium.
Again the Union conducted opium awareness campaign this year for the second time
and maximum number of people stopped opium smoking.
Further, the Union succeeded to check and control selling and buying of foreign liquor
inside the village as it created law and order problem.
In addition to these, the AOSU in a meeting with the Panchayat leaders, Public leaders,
youths, Chief of Ozakho village, GBs, religious leaders and general people had
passed resolution stating that if anybody is found selling opium and wine and smoking
opium inside the village, the person will be imposed fine of Rs. 5,000 and handed
over to the law enforcing authority for necessary action.
We request the State Government to extend helping hand to any organization which
is undertaking movement against drug abuse or opium smoking for the better tomorrow.
The Union would also like to appeal the state Govt to send a research team to carry
out a study on a natural stone stair at Ozakho village which is believed to be thousand
years old. If it is preserved and protected, Ozakho village will become one the places
of tourist interest in the state.
President, All Ozakho Students' Union (AOSU)
Please, pay a personal visit
This has reference to two letters regarding the condition of Hapoli-Ziro BRO road.
( March 10 and 17). On my private visit to Ziro recently, I happened to come across
some workers maintaining/carpeting BRO road from Pai Gate (Hapoli) to Old Ziro and
was surprised to see the low quality of works being executed. It was like cosmetic
carpeting, putting tiny layer of coal tar. Initially I thought that the work must
have been executed by one of the governmental agencies. Potholes had developed in
the half-carpeted road. I could not believe when the Commander 756 BRTF (GREF) stated
that “potholes developed due to leaking water pipeline underneath the road”. I saw
no water pipes underneath.
I would appeal Dwivedi to pay a personal visit to Ziro for first hand information
and ensure good quality of works to gain public sympathy and support, as always.
BRO is a respectable organization with nationalistic ideals, for whom ‘sky is the
Looking at the quality of the present work, I only hope that rumours about BRO officials
selling cement/coal tar in ‘close market’ are not true.
Dr. Nan Bath
Rajiv Gandhi University.
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