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August  - 08


Enchanting Mechukha set to become tourist hub

Madhurjya Doley

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: Mechukha famous for its scenic beauty with snow capped mountain peaks, flora and fauna, lush green valley is all set to become a major tourist spot in Arunachal Pradesh with Tourism department planning and initiating various tourism related activities in this yet to be explored potential tourist destination.

Launching a web site (www.menchukha.com) here this morning, Tourism Minister Jarbom Gamlin said that enchanting Mechukha has lots of potential to become a tourist hot-spot. While informing that his department is initiating various efforts to woo tourists by developing infrastructure, Gamlin sought the media persons’ involvement in publicizing Mechukha.

Assuring that his department would give priority in developing Mechukha as major tourist destination, Gamlin suggested for introducing local train to ease out communication bottleneck, and simultaneously it would provide joyride to the visiting tourists, he added.

Tourism Secretary Bandana Deori informed that Union Minister for Tourism Kumari Selja during her visit to Mechukha in January last announced sanction of Rs 3.32 crore for construction of a convention centre to promote corporate tourism.

“We are planning to develop way-side tourist amenities for tourists travelling to Mechukha by road via Aalo,” she informed adding that her department is contemplating to hand over all its assets to private parties for their maintenance on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis.

Gojen Gadi, Parliamentary Secretary Tourism informed that helicopter service from Aalo to Mechukha would be increased from the present once in a week to thrice in a week, especially for tourists. For this we have requested the chief minister, he added.

Local MLA P D Sona, the man behind developing the web site, briefed about Mechukha and its rich tourism potential. He said that the main aim and objective of launching the web site is to give informations related to Mechukha and its rich tourism potential to the out side world and sought feedbacks from everyone to make it more informative and useful.

Secretary PHE Tomi Ete advised for improving water supply and prevailing traditional latrine system in Mechukha.

Tour Operator Nino Dai informed that now focus of the out side tourists have shifted from the usual Tawang to central part of Arunachal which includes Itanagar, Ziro, Daporijo, Aalo, Yingkiong, Tuting and Pasighat. Unlike the past the present crop of tourists mainly comprise of youth thanks to vibrant economy, who prefer adventure tourism like trekking, rafting, village culture etc. He said that the number of visiting tourist from abroad in 2009 is very encouraging. According to Tourism Department, the number foreign and domestic tourists that visited Arunachal Pradesh in 2009 is 3,945 and 195147 respectively. He, however, opined that communication bottleneck is the main hurdle in the development of tourism sector. He appealed to the state government to look into the matter.



Chief Minister threatens to review Pawan Hans contract over safety issue

ITANAGAR Aug 7: A day after a crew of Pawan Hans Helicopter Service died in a freak accident, Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu has said that “such repeated incidents of technical snags may lead us to review our continuity in availing the services in the interest of safety of passengers”.

Khandu said “the Pawan Hans is synonymous to civil aviation in our State. We expect them to maintain the aircraft in absolutely safe flying conditions.

“Yesterday’s incident of “technical snag” on Tezu bound Pawan Hans helicopter in which one crew member slipped off from the airborne craft and fell down in Lathao area leading to his death is bizarre and shocking. While we express our solidarity with the members of bereaved family of the crew member Late Dhananjan Roy, it is also felt that the Pawan Hans Company should be told in strong words to maintain adequate safety measures. This incident cannot be ignored off as a stray incident of technical snag. We have witnessed instances of Pawanhans helicopter developing technical snags while airborne and thereby putting a serious question on its proper maintenance and safety of the passengers onboard especially in our hilly terrain, Khandu assertively said while directing the State Chief Secretary to take up the matter with Chief Managing Director of Pawanhans Helicopter Service Ltd. for improving safety standards and proper maintenance of its helicopters operating in Arunachal Pradesh.

Meanwhile the Chief Minister has expressed his profound sorrow over the demise of Roy. Late Roy was associated with Pawan Hans since 2006 and was catering to the service of Arunachalees before his death in the tragic incident, the Chief Minister said. (PRO TO CM)


Arunachal must protect nature’s bounty: Governor

Changlang, Aug 7: Governor Gen J J Singh has called on the people of the state to protect and preserve the greenery of the state.  “It is the greatest gift of God untouched by the human being and the people of Arunachal must understand it and work to protect it” said Gen Singh, while on a visit to Namdapha National Park, today.

The governor while lauding the department of environment and forest for their sincere service in protecting the rich flora and fauna of the park hoped for the same spirit of work from the department thereby ensuring the safety of the prestigious national park.

The governor while expressing his concern over the plight of the people of Vijayagar circle due to delay in construction of Miao-Vijaynagar road directed the department concerned to start the construction work immediately. He urged the department of PWD who is executing the work to finish the construction work by December next.  

He lauded the people of the area for their co-operation to the Local Administration and the Security force in maintaining peace and tranquility in the area and hoped that the camaraderie would continue in the future too. Bogibeel Bridge to ready by 2014 Bogibeel bridge project over River Brahmaputra is all set to be completed by 2014. According to Engineers 50% of the works have been completed. This information was given to Arunachal Pradesh Governor Gen J.J Singh  today when he visited the Bogibeel Bridge Project and took stock of the progress of the construction works.

While inspecting the Project, the Governor discussed with the team of Engineers from Railway Engineering Department and Gammon India Ltd. He said that as the project is of national and strategic importance; quality of works should be ensured through use of latest hi-tech technology. He asked the Engineers to put on best of services so that the future generations of the country would be proud of their works.

Impressed by the commitments and hard works put on by the Officers, Gen Singh directed them to complete all phases of the grand project in the stipulated time, while suggesting them to think an appropriate name for the gigantic project.

The bridge project is undertaken by Railway Engineering Department with Gammon India Ltd as its contractual partner. The bridge would facilitate dual road and rail communication system. The proposed railway link has a total length of 74.095 Kms, while the proposed road link has a total length of 24.455 Kms. (PRO to Governor)


NRHM Mission Director calls for better delivery system

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: Addressing a coordination meeting at District Hospital Khonsa yesterday Mission Director NRHM Talem Tapok while appreciating the contributions made by Medical Officers at block level towards improving the health care delivery system, however said that much more needs to be done to achieve NRHM goal when compared to other states.

He said that the Doctors must work hard on IEC/BCC activities in rural areas to improve routine immunization coverage in the District. According to him Maternal Mortality Rate and Infant Mortality rate of the State directly depends on the routine immunization coverage in the District. He further added that to ensure success of all programme activities, timely submission of SOE & UC is very important. DRCHO Tirap Dr.K.Perme informed that the meeting was convened to discuss various issues for all round development of health care system in the District and to give feed back to the visiting Mission Director NRHM.

DMO Dr.S.Ronya also spoke on the occasion. He requested Medical Superintendent and MO i/c of CHC’s and PHC’s to be very particular in reporting system.

Earlier before the meeting Talem Tapok made an inspection of the recently completed civil works in District Hospital Khonsa. Later on after the meeting along with DMO & DRCHO, he also met Wangliam Lowang DC Khonsa and apprised him the unutilized RKS fun and discussed at length to accelerate the utilization of the NRHM fun in the District. Before coming to Khonsa he also inspected the VHAI run CHC at Deomali.


MSU demands dismissal of personnel

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: Mishmi Student’s Union (MSU)  has demanded immediate termination of  accused  IRBn personnel and proper compensation to the bereaved family of Late Miti Mepo.  Criticising the  security personnel for taking law into their hands, the union also demanded immediate punishment to the erring personnels involved in recent death cases of Naharlagun and Roing. It  requested AAPSU to continue fight against unlawful activities in state for justice to the bereaved families of Late Nguso and Mepo. It also extended its support to AIMSU  in its fight for human rights and justice. The union further appealed the district administration  for fair enquiry into  the Mepo’s death case and advocated for special investigation team  into the whole episode.


Clarification contested

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: NCP leader Kaling Jerang has contested the clarification on appointments of employees in Education department.

He said that seven persons were appointed within a day in Feb 2009 by Education department against 35-Pangin Boleng constitutions without following any laid down rules formalities at the behest of Deputy Speaker, Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly. He further alleged that all transfer orders were issued by the Directorate of School Education without any relievers and knowledge of the DDSE, East Siang. In another instance, Jerang cited an example where a transfer order from Govt Primary School Korang to Hiya in Kurung Kumey was issued against the pet name of the teacher instead of the name enrolled in the Service Book. Jerang says that mistake came about because the department was following someone’s dictation.

In another instance, he says that a fresh appointment was made to the post of Peon in Boleng Higher Secondary School by DSE overlooking the appointment made at the district as per seniority.

He further says that instead of bringing in real development to Pangin-Boleng constituency, Deputy Speaker has been indulged in transferring a record number of government employees out of Pangin Boleng area.


Arunachalee shines at ‘India Got Talent Khoj - 2’

ITANAGAR, Aug 7:  It’s not for nothing that Arunachalee boy Toko Teji  has crossed two barriers of the popular show on Colors channel called the ‘India’s Got Talent Khoj - 2’. Literally speaking, Teji is drumming all the way to stardom making the unaccounted state (in terms of local talent) pride with swell. The pride can be doubled for the fact that Teji is only 18 years old while the show is open to all.

It was a treat to watch on Saturday night Teji playing on his drums for the first time on television. His passionate playing not only won the hearts of the judges but as well as a ticket to the next destination of this long and difficult talent hunt.

Parents, Toko Jyoti and Toko Yaza of Naharlagun, are proud, no doubt. But they attribute the sudden gush of fame on their eldest son as a result of his sheer determination and passion to play the drums. Bowing down to Teji’s passion and determination, the parents had to buy him a drum set very early in his childhood. With no mentors around, he played on his drum as he liked and felt. He used to play it to his heart’s content and sometimes to the parent’s frustration. The determination to learn playing the drum never faltered.

Teji’s passion met good luck when he joined the Assam Valley public school near Tezpur. There he got the atmosphere and met his mentor. There was no looking back!

When the guys from the ‘India’s Got Talent’ came hunting to Guwahati,Teji wasn’t able to make it to the audition. He sent a recording of his playing on the drum. The talent hidden inside couldn’t be missed by the organizers and he was selected. Performing before judges Kiron Kher, Sonali Bendre and Sajjid Khan now, the past is history.

Teji’s electric speed on the drum matches his talent academically. A proud uncle Toko Tatung informs that Teji, who is now in class XII, notched 85% in his class X examination, which in no way is a mean achievement.

“You are a volcano of talent,” commented Kiron Kher. Now, everybody wouldn’t agree more. So watch out for Toko Teji in the forthcoming episodes of India’s Got Talent Khoj - 2 on Colors channel!

Even if he does not make it to the top of the talent show, he is a budding drummer to watch out.


Tagore’s death anniversary

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: The 69th death anniversary of Rabindra Nath Tagore was observed today at Rajiv Gandhi Bhawan. The function was organized by Media Department of Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee as part of the yearlong celebration of 125 years of Indian National Congress.

Speaking on the occasion, APCC spokes person Vishal P Nabam highlighted about the life and achievement of Tagore.

Former MLA Kipa Babu, former Minister Thupten Tempa, former Minister Tanyong Tatak, Chairman Kissan Cell Taba Haniya, Secretary APCC, BC Tok also briefed about the life and achievement of Tagore on the occasion.


AKA demands appointment of officers

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: Claiming that non-recruitment of District Sports Officers (DSOs) and Assistant Sports Officers (ASOs) for various districts has adversely affected the state’s sports sector, Arunachal Karate-Do-Association (AKA) sought the intervention of the Chief Minister in filling up the vacant posts of DSOs, ASOs and coaches by Sports and Youth Affairs department.

AKA claimed that excepting six districts, rest district sports associations are running without DSOs and ASOs which affected the smooth functioning of the (DSAs), including getting fund, AKA claimed.

Ruing the lack of proper sports policy, AKA expressed the surprise that its demand to the government for formulating a sports policy is still ‘under process’ for the last 10 years. AKA demanded the government for early release of pending cash incentives for medal winners.


Oppose inclusion of villages of 1-Borum under municipalities

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: 1-Borum Zila Parishad Panchayat meeting was held at Itanagar yesterday to discuss about the merger or inclusion of villages of I-Barum Zila Parishad areas under urban areas.

The meeting vehemently opposed inclusion of villages of 1-Barum like Ganga, Chimpu, July, Borum, Model, Lekhi and Nirjuly Panchayats to urban notification.

Meanwhile, the meeting expressed their desire to continue under the aegis Panchayati Raj administration and not under municipalities or urban notified area and constituted an action committee on this regard.

The meeting was attended by MLA Techi Kaso, ZPM Taro Modi, ET Tara, ASMs, GPMs, GBs, senior citizens, intellectuals and youths of 1-Borum Zila Parishad.


Sille School management committee formed

PASIGHAT, Aug 7: A Parents-Teachers meet cum school management formation meeting was held on August 4 last at the school auditorium of Govt. Sille Higher Secondary school in order to help the students to have better and successful academic career.

It was held under the chairmanship of Sille-Oyan ASM Nalo Tasing. The Chairman Tasing while seeking cooperation from the parents said it was an opportunity for them to share their knowledge and experiences and hoped that it would improve the teaching-learning activities.

The Principal T. Doruk in his deliberation stressed on ‘dos and don’ts’ and advised all to maintain discipline and decorum while teaching-learning in the school.

A thirteen members School Management Committee was formed on the day.


Union calls for early bridge construction

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: All Palin, Chambang, Yangte, Gangte and Tarak-Langdi Students Union (APCTGTSU) sought intervention of the PWD central Zone chief engineer for early floating of tender and to start the bridge construction works at Pha under Gangte circle from this month. Claiming undue delay on the part of the authority concerned in materialisating a bridge project which was sanctioned two years back, the union said   other development activities like construction of road, electrification are also getting delayed due to delay in bridge construction.


Food Security and Public Distribution System in Arunachal

Dr. B G Mukhopadhyay

For quite sometime, the food security and Public Distribution System have become the cynosure of attention at both national and regional media. The Government of India has operationalized the National Food Security Mission and the draft National Food Security Bill 2010, which is going to be an Act shortly, statutorily ensures a certain minimum quantities of foodgrains per month through targeted PDS. However, the working of PDS has received its quota of bouquets and brickbats. For some States, the PDS has worked very well like Kerala and Tamil Nadu whereas in some other states like Bihar, MP,  UP, Rajasthan and West Bengal the performances are not up to the mark. In fact, 61% of the poor in the country in 1999-2000 lived in these five states. The off-take per BPL card was high in Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. The-off take by APL card holders was negligible except in Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal.

Even though the avowed objective of state intervention in the form of PDS aims at ensuring security to all the poor people through its large distribution network of 4.89 lakhs fair price shops, the Planning Commission’s document admits “ PDS seems to have failed in serving the second objective of making available food grains available to the poor”. In fact, the consumption levels of cereals have fallen on average as it is made out from NSS survey. As per the Planning Commission Report (based on National Sample Survey data) per capita intake of calorie and protein  have declined consistently over a 20 year period from 1983 to 2004-05. Rural calorie consumption per capita in 1983 was 2221 K. calorie per day.  It declined to 2047 k. calorie per day in 2004-05. Similarly, the per capita intake of protein which was 62 g. per day in 1983 reduced to 57 g. per day in 2004-05. Thus, if we take into account the above data, it is obvious that the poor didn’t have access to the subsidized food grains for whom it was meant for in the PDS. There could be various reasons why the foodgrains could not reach to the poor. But one of the major reasons is leakages and diversion of the subsidized food grains. This has got a cost apart from the hopping food subsidy bill which was estimated at Rs.37,000 Crores as per 2008-09 budgetary estimates. The Planning Commission in its report for PDS in 2005 mentioned “ for every four rupees spent on the PDS, only one rupee reaches to the poor and 57% of the PDS food grains does not reach the intended people”. The leakages mentioned are that the real poor are not identified, issuing of bogus ration cards in the BPL, AAY categories, the benefits were being availed rightfully by entitled families without their knowledge and errors in categorization of families that leads to BPL getting APL cards and vice versa, etc.

The experts and researchers who are working on this field have been pointing out the systemic inefficiencies in PDS and some economist like Dr. Ashok Gulati have argued for de-coupling the Govt’s consumer welfare objectives from producer’s protection objectives and some have argued for coupon/voucher system for the poor people so that they buy the foodgrains from the open market. The large scale inefficiencies in the PDS have also been reported at Arunachal in the press. The information from different districts at Arunachal points out the glaring  inequalities in lifting the foodgrains for the intended beneficiaries and there are reports of distortions in the distribution of food grains.

In order to rectify the deficiencies in the earlier PDS, the Govt has come up with a reformed targeted PDS (TPDS) which envisages identifying the poor households and giving them entitlement of food grains at subsidized prices. To this end, the Govt. is serious in strengthening of PDS and making it more transparent so that leakages and diversions can be stopped. The innovative efforts of Govt of Arunachal in e-PDS is an extremely laudable initiative to make the system more transparent and accountable. There is also suggestion for introducing multi application smart cards and to make the system web-enabled.

In case of Arunachal Pradesh, the Govt’s plan document (2010-11) indicates that the State is deficit by 90709 MT of rice. For this deficit amount the State is dependent upon FCI for lifting the grains from the accredited godowns and to transport the same though contractors and transporters to the fair price shops in the State. Many a time, there is a delay in getting the hill transport subsidy (HTS). In order to ensure the food security in the State and to reduce our dependence on FCI and other procurement agents, the State can as well build up its own buffer stock by increasing agriculture production and it is quite possible by focussing our attention in 9 districts of Arunachal in which the acrages of 5 districts viz. West Siang, East Siang, Lohit, Lower Dibang Vallay and Changlang are quite substantial to improve the production and productivity. The State’s record in rice productivity spans from 9.30 quintal per ha. in Anjaw to 32.60 quintal per ha. in Upper Subansiri. Even if we take median range of 25 quintals per ha for our calculation, the State can achieve food security within a period of 2-3 years with a little bit of efforts from all the stakeholders. It is technically feasible and my discussion with the Director of Agriculture and the other agriculture scientists in the State corroborates my optimism on this score. We need a firm resolve to achieve this objective and our priorities should be set accordingly so that the State attains food security and our farmers also stand to gain through increased income and productivity. Let us initiate a dialogue  amongst our public representatives and reach a consensus to this mission. And it will be absolutely achievable if we take a collaborative approach to achieve this mission. Our Governor’s clarion call of “ Team Arunachal” is the need of the hour in this onerous task of ensuring food security for the state of Arunachal. (The contributor is the General Manager of NABARD, Arunachal Pradesh Regional Office and the views expressed in  this article are his own)



APDA postpones stir after govt assurance

ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh Doctor’s Association has postponed the proposed agitation after the state govnerment assured to constitute Magisterial Inquiry into the incident of assault on Dr Tana Talin Tara, MO(Leporiang) by the police on June 20. The move came after doctors met the Parliamentary Secreatry  Nido Pavitra today to discuss the issue. The doctors had threatened to go off work on Aug 9 to press the government for action.


Khandu wishes Gogoi

ITANAGAR: Arunachal Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu has wished Assam CM Tarun Gogoi for speedy recovery after a heart surgery. Khandu’s wishes came as the Assam Chief Minister is recuperating after a heart operation on Aug 4.


Efforts to create more parking space

ITANAGAR:   The over-aged  and unsafe parking shed  at Naharlagun  bus station are being dismantled  in order to create more parking space for increasing number of buses and for  safety and security of the waiting passengers, informed station superintendent STS, Itanagar in a release today.

At present Itanagar station is operating more than 60 buses daily while parking capacity of Itanagar station is not more than 30 buses at a time, the release said.   Denying any foul play, the release said sufficient space are needed  to execute the proposal for parking of JNNURM buses at Naharlagun station.


Literary meet

ITANAGAR: The 15th literary sitting of Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society (APLS) will be held at the JN State Museum premises here tomorrow. APLS president Y D Thongchi is expected to chair the routine literary meet, held on every second Sunday of month.


Its Mechukha

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: All Libo Bokar Ramo Students Union has raised objection to recent trend of naming their area as Menchukha or Menchuka in various purposes and pleaded for rectification of name  as Mechukha.

Opposing the launch of website menchukha.com, instead of Mechukha the Union said   there exists no valley called Menchukha or Menchukha sub-division in West Siang.

The union further said that it is incorrect in naming the valley as Menchukha/Menchuka in place of Mechukha.  “The name Mechukha is is given by forefather and officially recorded”, it said.


Flash flood  plays havoc, say PR leader

ITANAGAR, Aug 7:  Informing that flash flood in Tarasso river triggered by torrential rain has destroyed govt properties, private houses and  agricultural field in Lower Tarasso and Upper Tarasso panchayat  yesterday,  Tarasso Anchal chairperson Tana Bagang in a release today appealed the Papum Pare deputy commissioner to send a team of govt officials to take stock of the  flood damages.


JPYW lauds governor

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: Jote Pachayat Youth Welfare Association has expressed happiness at the laying of foundation of the adventure tourism camping  site at Jote by  state Governor  J J Singh yesterday.

Appreciating the Governor,  chief secretary  Tabom Bam, parliamentary secretary tourism Gajen Gadi,  Tourism Minister Jarbom Gamlin and  parliamentary secretary industries Nabam Rebia for taking keen interest in  tourism sector and bringing Jote in world tourism map,  the Association informed that a ‘view point’ has been selected  between Jote and Balijan road for tourists interest. It appealed the Governor to pay a visit to the site christened as JJ View point.


Solung festival

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: A general body meeting of Adi community residing at Naharlagun was held today to chalk-out programmes for grand celebration of the ensuing Solung Festival. The meeting constituted a festival celebration committee headed by Kalom Tayeng as president and Tadang Siram as general secretary.


ARASU serves ultimatum

ITANAGAR, Aug 7:  All Raga Area Students Union has served a 7 days ultimatum  to education minister for fulfilment of its 10 point demands.

Expressing resentment at the failure of the Govt to pay heed to its demands submitted  during March last,  the delegation of the  union along with ANSU  leaders called on the education minister today  and urged him to reconsider their demands as special case for the development of education sector.

The demands of the union included introduction of science stream and posting of Vice principal  at Govt Higher Secondary school Raga, immediately posting of headmaster at Govt Middle school Kamporijo and posting of  adequate teachers in Govt higer secondary school and secondary schools and middle schools  under Raga   administrative block.


Teachers demanded

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: All Kimin Students’ Union (AKSU) strongly demanded the Director of School Education to immediately post a Senior Teacher for Geography and a Junior Teacher for Mathematics at GHSS, Kimin.


Relief demanded

ITANAGAR, Aug 7: All Parang Circle Youth Association highlighting the spread of foot and mouth disease in Parang circle appealed the concerned department to release relief materials to the owners, who had lost their animals.

It further appealed for establishment of Veterinary aid centre at Parang and urged the local MLA, ZPM, Anchal Chairperson and ASMs of Parang circle to take up immediate steps for establishment of Veterinary aid centre.

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