February 20

Budget session from March 5

ITANAGAR, Feb 19: The budget session of the sixth legislative assembly will commence from 5th March and end on 13th. The Governor of Arunachal has issued notification summoning the legislative assembly to meet for the budget session.


APSTS announces free service

ITANAGAR, Feb 19: Good news for commuters as Arunachal Pradesh State Transport Service has announced that all bus rides within Capital Complex will be for free on Feb 20 as a gift to the people on 29th statehood day. An official source said that Chief Minister Nabam Tuki had proposed the idea so that people are able to take part in the celebrations.

Around 30 buses have been pressed into service which will shuttle from Banderdewa, Doimukh, Nirjuli, Naharlagun, Chimpu, Jote, Jullang and Yupia to Itanagar from early morning onwards, said General Manager APSTS Abu Tayeng.


Chakka bandh called off

ITANAGAR, Feb 19: The All Arunachal Pradesh Public Transport Federation (AAPPTF) has called off its proposed 12 hours Chakka bandh on February 20 following assurance to take up its 15-point charter of demands with the Chief Minister on February 24 for discussion. AAPPTF in a release today informed that it has decided to call off the bandh following assurance of Parliamentary Secretary Home Likha Saaya, Parliamentary Secretary Civil Supply Markio Tado and DIGP Nabam Gungte and Capital DC to take up its charter of demands with the CM in a meeting held this evening.    

The demands of the Federation include creation of manpower in traffic department, allotment of sufficient fund for traffic awareness campaign, permanent allotment of parking place in all the districts headquarters and provision of transport subsidy loan scheme to unemployed youths.


Indefinite bandh suspended

ITANAGAR, Feb 19: The ongoing indefinite bandh launched by the JYSU, RBSU, LYA under the banner of District Demand Joint Action Committee (DDJAC) of Likabali and Nari Koyu (ST) Assembly constituencies on Lower Siang headquarters issue has been temporarily suspended on certain terms and conditions until second week of April.

The decision was taken after a joint meeting of Government representatives and DDJAC, youth organizations and elites of the two constituencies that the committee constituted by the state government on Lower Siang Issue headquarters submits its report to the state govt. at the earliest in favour of the ‘genuine’ demand of the people of Likabali and Nari-Koyu (ST) Assembly constituencies.

It was also decided in the meeting that Likabali MLA Jomde Kena will constantly keep pursuing with the state govt. for early submission of the report by the committee.

The meeting, however, resolved that rigorous democratic movement would be re-launched by the people of the two constituencies in case the government fails to fulfill the demand.

Basar ADC E Ete, who represented the government, chaired the meeting which was held in the office chamber of the Likabali SDO today.


Nyamar Karbak takes oath as MLA

ITANAGAR, Feb 19: The newly elected MLA from Liromoba Assembly constituency Nyamar Karbak took oath today as the member of State Legislative Assembly in presence of Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, several Ministers and MLA’s, high ranking officers and well wishers. Speaker State Legislative Assembly Nabam Rebia administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Nokmey Namati Hall of the Assembly secretariat, Naharlagun.

Karbak won the Liromoba by-poll held on 13 February on a Congress ticket.

It may be mentioned here that the by-poll of the Liromoba Assembly constituency was necessitated following the demise of the then sitting MLA Jarbom Gamlin on November 30. In the by-poll, Karbak defeated his nearest rival candidate Bai Gadi of BJP by a margin of 119 votes. DIPR


Irregularities in selection process alleged

ITANAGAR, Feb 19: Alleging serious irregularities in selection of dealership against agriculture inputs supply under NFSM/CMMP schemes, the All Arunachal Agriculture Horticulture Input Suppliers Registered Dealership Association (AAAHISRDA) has appealed to the finance commissioner to pass a directive for immediate stoppage of payment regarding selection of beneficiaries taking place in various district agriculture offices as well as at the director office. It also appealed for re-tendering/reselection process at the directorate level to ensure that registered firm holders get a fair chance to participate.

"The NIT from registered dealers/firms were not even published in any of the newspapers," it claimed adding that two - three firms were selected by means of "pick and choose" without any transparency.


Run for Clean Arunachal Campaign organised

KOLORIANG, Feb 19: As part of 29th Statehood Day Celebration, the Kurung-Kumey District Administration in collaboration with PHED, Sub-Division-Koloriang organized “Run for Clean Arunachal Campaign” at Koloriang today.

Hundreds of people from all walks of life took part in the race. The race was flagged off by Upper Koloriang, ZPM, Chello Tagar at Tayang village and later culminated at General Ground Koloriang.

Meanwhile, administrating the Swachhta Abhiyan Pledge to all the participants, Kurung-Kumey District, Deputy Commissioner, Mamta Riba emphasized on the need for upholding the commitment made in the Swachhta Pledge. While stressing on the importance of hygienic and cleanliness, the Deputy Commissioner, appealed each and every citizen of Koloriang to extend their helping-hand in making the district clean that will further contribute towards making our country clean.

All the HoDs of the district also participated in the programme. DIPRO


23 ILP violators detained at Sille-Oyan PS


RUKSIN, Feb 19: Silley-Oyan Police led by SI M Bori, Officer-in-Charge today caught 23 persons without Inner Line Permit (ILP) during a checking at National Higjway-52,

The persons were detained when they were trying to enter into Arunachal territory without possessing ILP or other valid documents, police said.

The ILP violators were produced before the court for further action.

A case under section-3 of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873 has been registered at Sille-Oyan PS against the violators.

Sille-Oyan police last month caught as many as 45 passengers, who were trying to enter into the district without possessing valid permit.

The police have set up check posts at Ruksin, Sille and 2-mile portion on the highway and deputed patrolling team to check illegal entry of persons from outside the state.


Hailstorm lashes Riga

ITANAGAR, Feb, 19: A severe hailstorm lashed Riga block, Pangin and its surrounding areas this evening, causing sharp fall in mercury. The hailstorm, accompanied by strong winds and heavy shower, forced people to rush indoors and reduced visibility to zero.

Vehicles were forced to move at a snail's pace with headlights on while people rushed indoors to save themselves from the storm.

The tribal areas and other higher hills received another spell of moderate snowfall.

Hailstorm with gusty wind hit different parts of the district making them briefly resemble colder times with snow-splattered road and covered some parts completely with hail.

However, there were no reports of any loss of life from any part of the area.


DDSE visits schools at Lazu

KHONSA, Feb 19: DDSE Tirap made a surprise visit to schools in the border block of Lazu and visited primary and middle schools of Kheti, Sanliam, Kolam and Tutnyu.

During interaction with the SMC, they appealed to the DDSE to post teachers and provide furniture and electricity in schools. Meanwhile, DDSE assured to place the problems with the state education department and the administration for immediate redressal. DIPRO


Indian army conducts free medical camp at Tuting

YINGKIONG, Feb 19: Indian Army Unit located at Tuting of Upper Siang District conducted a free medical check-up camp at Tuting on Feb 16 and 17.

The Army doctors from Tuting along with support staff conducted medical check-ups to needy patients throughout the day. They also gave lectures on nutrition and other health care tips to the public.

Meanwhile, the villagers urged the Army personnel to conduct such health camps in the future.

Apart from this health camp, the Indian army is providing free medical facilities to the local population in its Army campus at Tuting on daily basis.

It is worth mentioning that Tuting sub-division is one of the most remote areas of Arunachal Pradesh. The road communication network in the area is still underdeveloped and this has prevented necessary facilities like health care from reaching the local residents. Although there is a Primary Health Centre at Tuting, but this centre is not in a position to cater the needs of entire sub-division, specially the remote villages. DIPRO


Anand wins Zurich Classical after easy draw with Karjakin

ZURICH, Feb 19: Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand played out an easy draw with Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the fifth and final round to win the Classical section of Zurich Chess Classic on Thursday.

Awarded two points for a victory and one for a draw under new rules in place in the event, Anand tallied seven points, winning two and drawing three games, in the six-player round-robin. It also meant a much-needed recovery in ELO points after losing heavily in the preceding Grenke Classic tournament.

Hikaru Nakamura of the United States finished a clear second, a full point behind Anand after settling for a draw with Levon Aronian of Armenia. The third game of the fifth and final round in the Classical format was also drawn between Russian Vladimir Kramnik and Fabiano Caruana of Italy.

Kramnik finished third, having drawn all his five games while Aronian, Caruana and Karjakin were tied fourth on four points each.

The battle now shifts to the rapid chess format where all players play once more against each other in the same day.

There are five more rounds remaining to decide the overall winner but in rapid chess each win will be worth only one point and a draw will just earn half a point.

This effectively means the trio of Aronian, Caruana and Karjakin are out of title contention barring a huge turnaround in fortunes.


Kurung Kumey retain women’s football trophy

ITANAGAR, Feb 19:  Kurung Kumey women football team retained Chief Minister's Trophy defeating Papum Pare 2-0 in the final at Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy (SLSA) complex, Chimpu, here today.

Bengia Nani and Langda Mina scored one goal in both halves for the winning team.

The final match was kicked off by Tabia Chobin, Principal, Sangay Lhaden Sports Academy, in presence of D.K. Dinglow, Director, Sports & Youth Affairs and other officers and official of Dept. of Sports & Youth Affairs.

Arunachal Pradesh Governor Lt. Gen (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma and Chief Minister Nabam Tuki will attend the final match of men's football to be played between Lower Subansiri and Capital Complex tomorrow at 2 pm at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Naharlagun.


BYA calls for justice

ITANAGAR, Feb 19: The Biki Youth Association (BYA) today alleged late Biki Somi died after being hit by police PCR van. Association in a press release issued on behalf of the family members, gave detail information about how things unfolded on 18th February morning. They alleged that due to reckless and irresponsible driving of PCR Van driver the bike in which late Somi and injured Sagar Mibang was traveling collided with the PCR van.

“We the general public has lots of expectation from Capital Police and believes that they will ensure our safety and security. But unfortunately this incident occurred due to mistake of the patrolling Police Van. To add to our woes, the police team flew from the scene. In normal circumstances police are supposed to rescue and evacuate the victim and take injured person to hospital. However in this case even after repeated request by injured Sagar Mibang to take them to hospital, the police team didn’t pay any heed. Driver of the PCR Van K. Perme should be proclaimed responsible for the cause of death,” the association stated in a release. Further they added, “Fortunately a group of local ladies all vegetable sellers who were readying for the next day’s activity caught them at the spot. The eye witnesses have solely held the patrolling team responsible for causing the accident leading to the death of our beloved and capable brother.” Association added that victims were evacuated to hospital by officer in charge of Itanagar Police Station T Bage.

They also clarified that whatever happened during the later part of the day was out of emotion and due to deep resentment over inhuman attitude of police team. “We had no intention to harm anyone. We protested so that such incident should not be repeated in future and no one should die tragically like our brother Somi had to. If the driver of the PCR Van is strongly punished for his mistake, it will send strong message and may be lives of other people will be saved,” the association continued. BYA added that situation was brought under control due to the guidance of NES, ANSU, ANYA, IMWA, District Administration, relatives and well wishers. However, they made it clear that government has not fulfilled whatever they had promised. “We will wait patiently and if government does not fulfill the promises, we will take our own course of action,” they added.


News Impact

Expectations high as state all set to welcome Prime Minister Modi

[ Taba Ajum ]

ITANAGAR, Feb 19: Itanagar is all decked up to receive the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the occasion of 29th Statehood Celebrations. The Prime Minister, who will be the Chief Guest of the statehood day celebrations, is scheduled to arrive at 10 AM and spend at least two hours at IG Park.

He is expected to flag off the Arunachal-Delhi Rajdhani Express Train, a 36 hours journey from Naharlagun to the Capital.

Modi has earlier on visited Arunachal last year during general election and addressed rallies at Pasighat and IG Park, Itanagar. During both the rallies, while appealing for vote, Modi promised to fast track the development of the state.

During a rally at Pasighat, Modi had said “Arunachal can be the world’s environment capital. It is no less than Switzerland.” He had also stated that Herbal, Horticulture and Handicrafts can give lot of opportunities to the local people.

As the state anxiously awaits the Modi visit, people of Arunachal have massive expectations from him. This daily spoke to people from various sections of the society and asked them about their expectations from PM Modi. “His visit should not be meant for political propaganda only. I wish he interacts with common people to hear their grievances. Also, he should look into the ways of governance and emphasize on corruption free government,” shared Ajit Tajo Sonam, a resident of Itanagar.

There are many who are concerned about the misuse of central funds and want PM Modi to initiate action in this front.

“His visit itself is a message that he is concerned about the people of this state. Hope he stresses on the need to properly use central fund and stop it’s misuse,” said Tobom Dai from Pasighat. “Prime Minister’s Office should have a link office in Itanagar to oversee the implementation of central schemes. This will stop the misuse of central funds,” shared Dr Nani Bath, who teaches at Rajiv Gandhi University. He also wants PM to start the process of imposition of income tax in the state.  “Funds allocated by the Government of India are being spent with impunity, without any accountability and transparency. This adds to corruption and acceptance of corruption as a 'social fact'. One of the ways is to scrap or modify the Section10 (26) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, which provides exemption to income accruing or arising to a member of Scheduled Tribe,” continued Dr Bath.

Some sections of the people expect PM Modi to announce big development packages for the state. “First of all strengthening of power transmission and distribution system in Arunachal, for which he is going to lay the foundation stone, should be awarded to state government and not to the Power Grid Corporation. We are hopeful that he will announce more packages for the financially starved state like ours,” said Taku Chatung from Hapoli town.

There are others who want PM to respect tribal’s right over forest and river. “We expect special care from PM. It mean’s people’s right to land, river and forest be retained with scope of sustainable development,” shared Dr Rasto Mena from Roing.

PM Modi had tried to make connection between Arunachal and his home state Gujarat during the election rally at Pasighat by saying “first rays of the Sun bless this land. Arunachal Pradesh wakes up first and then the rest of India rises. The final rays of the sun set in Gujarat. ” Indeed people of Arunachal are hopeful that he will take this connection to next level and work for the faster development of the state.


Gary Zaetz, founder and chairman of Families and Supporters of America’s Arunachal MIAs, says, I am a citizen of the US, but I have a family connection to Arunachal: my uncle was killed in Arunachal during World War II, and my hope is that the Government of India will abandon its terribly hurtful policy of withholding permission for my uncle's remains and the remains of 400 other American airmen, from being recovered from their crash sites throughout the mountains of Arunachal.




Apang pleads PM for removal of lacunae in Statehood Act

ITANAGAR, Feb 19: Former Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Gegong Apang today appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take appropriate action for removal of all the existing lacunae in the Statehood Act.

On the eve of arrival of PM Narendra Modi to attend the Statehood Day celebration, Apang hoped that the BJP Govt at the Centre, particularly the Prime Minister Narendra Modi will surely address the existing lacunae in  the  Statehood Day Act in right perspective.

“In the past many assurances were given by the Congress Govt at the Centre to consider the matter.  Many lacunae in the Statehood Act have not been addressed till date despite many representations submitted by the state,” the former Chief Minister said.

Citing the Nagaland Statehood Act, Apang said that there are many provisions in Nagaland Statehood Act which have not been extended to our state particularly in the matter of ownership over land and its resources. “If not more, the Centre should at least consider bringing Arunachal at par with Nagaland which will really boost up the morale of the people of the state, Apang said.

The Governor has been bestowed with the special power unlike other north eastern states which undermine the loyal citizen of the country living in the strategically sensitive part of the country, he said.

Pointing out the long journey of Arunachal Pradesh towards the path of development since attainment of statehood in the year 1987, the former Chief Minister said that still a lot is desired to be done in the field of education, health, infrastructure, surface connectivity and improvement of rural economy for the people living in far flung area of the state.

“There is rise in law and order problem and also a growing sense of consciousness among the people that there is lack of transparency in utilization of fund sanctioned by the central government,” Apang said. He emphasized the need to undertake the people oriented and eco-friendly projects to make Arunachal Pradesh one of the best performing states. In this regard the role of law makers, bureaucrats, members of PRI, student/youth organizations, farmers, NGOs are of paramount importance, Apang added.

Saying that the celebration of statehood should not be a mere ritual, Apang called for introspection over the achievement and weaknesses that have impeded our efforts.

Former Chief Minister also conveyed heartfelt greetings to all the people of our state on the occasion of 29th anniversary of Statehood Day.



Health services information to be displayed in local languages: DC

PASIGHAT, Feb 19: Information regarding services available in health centers, machinery available for the redressal of grievances, brief overview regarding the admission of patients and doctors on duty must also be displayed in local languages for conveniences of the public, suggested Deputy Commissioner East Siang District Nidhi Srivastava while addressing the members in the District Quality Assurance Committee meeting at Pasighat yesterday.

She said that, our ultimate aim is to deliver the highest standard healthcare services to the people with available resources and manpower.

The DC informed the house that the Union Government is introducing quality assurance program for accessing and improving the quality of services in health sector. In a bid to identify gaps in the healthcare institution-level and fulfil quality assurance parameters, the state government has set in motion the process to form quality assurance committees in government hospitals and health centers under National Health Mission (NHM).

She appreciated the medical fraternity for maintaining cleanliness and prompt services being rendered by them to the society and gave various tips for betterment. She also said that we must maintain the tradition of providing quality services to each and every citizen who visits the hospital.

Earlier, Member Secretary Dr. T. Gao (DRCHO) presented the aims and objectives of the mission through power point presentation. During the open house discussions, Dr. Bagra and Dr. T. Gao cleared various doubts raised by the doctors and members. They urged the Medical Superintendent Dr. YR Darang to deliver better services to patients including enhancing the accountability of health practitioners and resource efficiency, identifying, and minimizing medical errors. DIPRO



Arunachal receives ‘Krishi Karman Commendation Award’ for 3rd consecutive year

ITANAGAR, Feb 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave away “Krishi Karman Commendation Award” for 2013-14 to Arunachal Pradesh in overall food grain production category. Hage Khoda, Commissioner, Hage Kano, Director and Agriculture Advisor A K Purkayastha received the award on behalf of the state agriculture minister in a function held at Suratgarh, Rajasthan today. The PM also launched an ambitious scheme on “Soil Health Card” distribution to all farm families in the country.

The award is given to the better performing states of India in overall food grain, pulses, oilseeds, rice, wheat and coarse cereals production during 2013-14.

The PM complemented Arunachal for qualifying for the award consecutively for three years.  

Arunachal has been adjudged as first amongst the commendation award category for its achievement in overall food grain production as compared to previous year. The award consists of a citation and cash award of Rupees One Crore. Earlier, the state had received the same award with citation and cash award of rupees twenty-five lakhs during 2011-12 & 2012-13.

It is quite encouraging that the production and productivity of food grains like rice and coarse cereals has been in increasing trend as is evident from the fact that the overall food grain production in the state had reached a level of 3.89 lakh MT during 2013-14 as compared to 3.62 lakh MT during 2011-12 and anticipated to reach a level of 4.10 lakh MT during 2014-15 depending on the weather condition.



People’s voice on the 29th Statehood Day Celebration

[ Ojing Tayeng ]

ITANAGAR, Feb 19: We asked some of our readers through personal interviews and social media networks to share their thoughts as we celebrate the 29th statehood day on Feb 20. Most of the respondents felt that the state need to do more to discourage corruption, increase opportunities for young people, improve infrastructure and forge better inter tribal relations.

Dipten Ratan, says “I hope to see an Arunachal where we love enough to be able to forgive each other’s mistakes; where every clan, every community is happy to take a backseat so that other can go ahead; where justice rolls on like a river, righteousness like a never failing stream”.

Madhuparna Bhattacharjee Sharma, a college teacher says “let the vibrant youth channelize to the extent that the small but beautiful state forges ahead with meaningful goals set without imitating others. May compassion, sincerity and conscience grow from within through an indigenous mode of social engineering” she adds.

K. Megu, RGU student suggests that Arunachal festival should be taken to other districts headquarter of the state on rotation basis.

BT Borang, “we celebrate statehood day every year but still some are unaware about the importance of statehood day in remote areas. So I think the state government need to initiate some step to promote various local vernacular newspapers of the state as these newspapers are only source of information to local tribal.

T Mize, a govt officer feels that preservation and protection of natural resources and promotion of eco tourism should be taken up on priority basis by the state government.

Gemin Modi, an unemployed graduate thinks that development activities are in slow progress in the state except Trans-Arunachal Highways works. Most of the schools particularly in remote areas of East Siang face shortage of infrastructure which needs immediate attention from education department.

Kaling Panyang, a graduate feels that the quality of works should be maintained in the state as many works carried out are of low standard. The government need to take up certain policies on drugs abuses particularly on Opium and Marijuana.

Arup Kumar Choudhury, a social worker said that “diversion of concentration from certain fields is a call now for Arunachal Pradesh. Like the rising Sun, this state should rise”

Duyu Tabyo, a young film maker said “100 billion dollars worth of fortune cannot make this state prosper as long as we look upon each other with hostility on the lines of tribalism and communalism”.

Michi Laltlan Sanga Chawngthu, said that the state should focus on the potential Arunachal have in the field of Sports. The potential of the youths needs to be channelized through sports as much as we can. What we need now is a good indoor and outdoor stadium and specially renovating the lone Stadium of Capital Complex with synthetic turf.

Nyicyor Biken, a student of Leeds Beckett University, England  shares that “Instead of fighting for power and tribe ,we need to focus on more entrepreneurship culture where tourism, hospitality, sports , music, cultural and social development should be priority. Let there be free open space for opportunity… better education system and health facilities proper implementation of govt. funds and awareness of national schemes.



Yobins deserve ST status

ITANAGAR, Feb 19: Yobin Tribe Fundamental Rights Forum (YTFRF) has expressed strong resentment over the refugee tag/label given on the Yobin community.

Claiming that authorized legal documents of Government of India states ‘Yobin’ as a native tribe of Tirap district since 1940s, the Forum urged All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) and people of the state to stand for the cause of the Yobins.

Referring to Presidential Order published in “Gazette of India, Extra Ordinary, Part II, Section 3, in October, 29, 1956, wherein it is claimed to be stated that “Yobin Tribe avails APST under “SC & ST lists (Modification),” the Forum dismissed any questions or doubts over Yobin’s tribal identity.

While recalling Yobin community’s long association with AAPSU and their contribution since the union’s early days, the Forum in its release informed that former Chief Minister and then AAPSU president Late Jarbom Gamlin had remarked that, “…people of the state should not equate the Yobins with refugees as the former (Yobin) are indigenous inhabitants of Vijaynagar area…”

The Forum also informed that former AAPSU president and MP Takam Sanjoy and present AAPSU president Kamta Lapung too claimed to have publicly acknowledged the tribal identity of the Yobins during their visit to Yobin village of Dawodi/Vijaynagar in mid-March 2013. The Forum also claimed that the Joint-High Power Committee members during their visit upheld Yobin’s cause in a public meeting held at IB compound, Vijaynagar.

It also informed that the Arunachal East MP had written to Ministry of Tribal Affairs, GOI in favour of granting ST status to Yobins.

 “… kindly intervene in this long pending demand of Yobin Tribe which is also supported by the Cabinet & other public representatives of the State of Arunachal Pradesh is genuine and well deserving of positive response from Govt. of India….”

“… Records reveal that the Yobins are living in Vijaynagar circle since forties of the last century. They are purely Tribal people of Arunachal Pradesh living in Vijaynagar Circle of Miao Sub-Division in Changlang District.  The demand for inclusion of Yobin or Lisu to Scheduled Tribe Status in Arunachal Pradesh is very much genuine and deserve for early reorganization by the Government”, the Forum quoted the Miao ADC. (Ref. “No M/ESTT/PF/TM/14   Dated Miao, the 20th November, 2014”).

In 2000, AAPSU president Nabam Jallow assured the Yobin community that any misunderstanding about the Yobin’s legal standing will be erased from AAPSU agenda, the forum informed in the release.

The Forum also claimed that fellow local tribes, including the Singpho and Tangsa communities too vouched for granting ST status to Yobins.



Train to Eastern Himalayas : A Sun-rise journey begins

[ D.C.Borah ]

On April 7, 2014, the sun rose at Itanagar exactly at 5:34 AM. But most people around the newly built railway station at Naharlagun, just 10 kms east of the Arunachal Pradesh capital city had woken much earlier. It was going to be a historic day – the first passenger train would chug into the beautiful state cradled in the eastern Himalayas a few hours later. And, Itanagar has also become the second state capital in the Northeast – after Guwahati – to figure in the broad gauge railway map of India.

It was not just a historic moment for the Land of the Dawnlit Mountains, as Arunachal Pradesh is generally referred to. It was also a great moment for Indian Railways, as the world’s largest railway network also embraced into it the colourful people – the Adis, Nyishis, Apatanis, Galos, Mishmis, Tagins, Monpas, Sherdukpens, Tangsas, Khamtis, Singphos, Noctes, Wanchos and so on – who live in the enchanting mountains here. No doubt people flocked in large numbers to Naharlagun not just to see the first train, but also to touch and feel it, and keep that wonderful feeling in their hearts forever.  

Taking the railways to Arunachal Pradesh, a state that shares strategic international boundaries with three neighbouring countries – China, Bhutan and Myanmar – has been a very significant development. And, though Arunachal Pradesh had nominally found a place in the great Indian railway map earlier when a metre gauge line had reached Bhalukpong, exactly 1.26 kms inside the state about 20 years ago, connecting the state capital is what was so long most important. This was first achieved when the first test-run of an engine was successfully carried out on January 15, 2014 from Harmuti in Assam to Naharlagun, a 21.75 km railway project, work on which had begun in October 2008. Though the foundation stone of the project was laid by then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on January 31, 2008, actual work was delayed due to change of alignment and challenges like removing high-tension power lines and obtaining forest clearance etc.

The project that connected the Arunachal Pradesh capital with a 21.75 km line from Harmuti on the Rangiya-Murkongselek section in northern Assam, has been sanctioned at a cost of Rs 407.98 crores. But that cash component apart, it also has an immeasurable investment of the love and affection of 13.48 lakh beautiful people whose music and dance, be they of the war dances or those performed during festivals and rituals, have added new rhythms to the clickety-clack of a railway train chugging in or out of Nahalagun.

Though Naharlagun is located at only about 300 metres above sea level, taking the railway track up there was not as easy as it looks. Surveys and DPRs apart, the entire project involved construction of 46 minor and 11 major bridges, all across unbelievably unpredictable rivers small and big that simply run down the mountains, many a times refusing to understand what human beings are doing with nature. The Harmuti-Naharlagun section also has 14 roads-under-bridges and of course two stations, these being Gumto and Naharlagun.

People in Arunachal Pradesh in fact have been longing for a railway link for so many decades. Connectivity has remained a big dream, with the natural beauty and rich bio-diversity of the state waiting to be explored. Once known as North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), this area became a Union Territory in 1972, and finally a full-fledged state in 1987.

While the first survey for a metre gauge railway line was conducted during 1996-97 in line with Indian Railway’s vision of providing railway connectivity to all state capitals of the Northeastern region, the state government’s approval for the same was received in 2006. Later on, the alignment had to be changed in 2010 on the request of the state government and finally it was taken up as a broad gauge project from Harmuti to Naharlagun (9 km in Assam + 12.75 km in Arunachal Pradesh = 21.75 km). With the government of Arunachal Pradesh giving its consent to terminate the proposed railway line at Naharlagun in March 2010, construction of the broad gauge line began immediately began.

The railway line that takes off from Harmuti railway station on the Rangiya-Murkongselek main line, traverses nine kms in Lakhimpur district in Assam before entering Lower Subansiri district in Arunachal Pradesh, and runs along the left bank of the Dikrong river for about six kms up to Doimukh where it crosses the river. The remaining 6.75 km is in Papum Pare district.

For those interested in technical details, all bridges in this section have been built for loading standard of 25-MT and has a speed potential of 100 km per hour. For linking Naharlagun to the Indian Railways network, the railways had to also convert the old 451-km Rangiya-Murkongselek metre gauge into broad guage, one line whose importance will further increase once the Bogibeel rail-cum-road bridge across the Brahmaputra is complete. Needless to say, it will also cater to the need of defense for expeditious and through movement of troops to the frontier areas. In addition, it holds the promise of bringing a lot of development and prosperity to Arunachal Pradesh by way of tourism and industrialization.

Meanwhile, the gauge conversion work of the 34.47-km Balipara-Bhalukpong stretch, a branch line of the Rangiya-Murkongselek section has been also completed and a diesel locomotive has already made a successful trial run in October 2014. With this, one more district of Arunachal Pradesh – West Kameng – has found place in the great Indian Railway network. Passing through a thick forest area, it traverses only about 1.26 kms inside Arunachal Pradesh territory, but it means volumes in terms of economic activity, especially because goods will now reach the doorstep of western Arunachal at a much less cost.

February 20, 2015 on the other hand will remain written in golden letters in the history of India, when Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will formally dedicate the Arunachal Pradesh railway link to the nation, thereby opening a new chapter of surface communication in the strategically located state. It will also be an occasion when the Prime Minister will flag off a weekly AC Express train(22411/22412) connecting Naharlagun with New Delhi.



Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan under CSR meeting

Yupia Feb 19: A coordination meeting to discuss the implementation of Swachh Vidyalaya Abhiyan under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was held at Yupia today.

During the meeting, Deputy Commissioner Tai Kaye while discussing the various parameters of implementation of project in the district under CSR programme said that it should be implemented in transparent manner and with the consent of local people.

Responding to the dissatisfaction expressed by Zilla Parishad Members on project implementation he said that it is quite arbitrary on the part of PSUs for signing MoU with SMC (School Management Committee) without informing DA and Panchayat leaders and reiterated on maintaining proper communication and understanding with district administration and panchayat members while implementation of  any projects in the district.

He further said, it is a national campaign programme to provide toilets in every school to facilitate a better, clean and hygienic environment and it is our collective responsibility to support construction of toilets in the identified schools. He suggested the PSUs to identify schools lying in remotest areas.

DDSE TT Tara also stressed on proper coordination among the PSUs and district administration in successful implementation and requested the PSUs to construct the toilets with proper water supply and electricity. In Papum Pare, NHPC in their CSR initiative launched to construct toilets in 63 schools, SJVN in 84 and NEEPCO in 10 schools.

Meanwhile, Officers of PSUs apprised the DC about the status and progress of their works on the project and said that main aim is to provide and achieve total sanitation and hygienic environment for every child in all schools.

ZPMs from Mengio, Doimukh, Banderdewa, Borum, Leporiang and Tarasso also spoke on the occasion. DIPRO



Archers, boxers accorded rousing welcome

ITANAGAR, Feb 19: The National Games gold medal winning archers, their coach and boxers of Sangey Lhaden Sports Academy, Chimpu, who participated in the highly competitive event, arrived in the state capital today morning from Kerala to a rousing welcome by the sports fraternity of the state.

Arunachal Olympic Association (AOA) Secretary General Gechi Doke, Arunachal Karate Association president Likha Tara, general secretary L. Marik, Arunachal Archery Association Secretary Tadar Appa, Joint Secretary O.B. Meitei, among others were present to receive the team at Akash Deep, Ganga.

They congratulated the team and offered bouquets for their brilliant performance in the Games in a brief reception ceremony held in the morning.

Four archers from SLSA, namely Sorang Yumi, Genung Tekseng, Maselo Mihu and Netan Drema Khrimey representing state in the National Games won gold medal in Olympic Team Event.

Sorang Yumi won one silver medal in individual event.

Genung, Yumi and Maselo also participated in the 2015-Tata National Ranking Archery Tournament (1st Stage) at Hyderabad, from February 15 to 17.

Genung has been selected to represent India in the first Asian Archery Cup scheduled to be held at Bangkok from March 16-22.

She is the lone Archers from North East to represent India in the event. Genung Tekseng is currently training at Sangay Lhaden Sport Academy under Coach Kh. Ekashini Devi.



Copyright © 2008, The Arunachal Times Publications Pvt. Ltd., Siang House, Sector - E, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh - 791111, India

All rights reserved.


---- Readers Forum ----


Ridiculous question paper

Dear Editor,

Through your esteemed daily, I would like to place my dismay over the faulty/defective question paper of Geography (Theory) of the ongoing AISSCE(INTERNAL) CL-XI EXAM 2015 (17.02.15.)

The paper consisted of 10 pages excluding outline map of world and India for question Nos 19 and 20 respectively printed opposite sides. What ridiculed the teachers and the taught is that:

(1) In question No. 19 (world map), it was asked to identify with the help of the map legend and was supposed to write the correct name on the dotted line for features shown as A,B,C,D and E. But interestingly the map bore no such alphabet nor dotted line other than the equator and the international date line.

(2)  For India map in question No. 20(iv), Mawsynram was spelled as Mousynram. The name of any place, word or thing should be correctly spelled else it would not be wrong to write “Shutter de” for “Saturday”.

(3) Question No. 21-Open Text Material (OTM) captioned “Krakatau Volcano Fear of East Indies” add the woes. The OTM occupied 90% space of the question paper for just 10 marks. To answer just two questions, the students has to spend half of the allotted time leaving other theoretical question unattempted due to time constraints. For an average teacher also, it would take some 45-50 minutes to understand the subject matter of the given material (Passage).

If we recall the last year’s AISSCE exam., such flaws are recurrent. The question setter and the printing agency should rue for their childish act and should repent for their irresponsible mentality which results in low standard examination and result. Gone are the days when every one believed that “XIth is heaven”. After getting through the Xth, it was easy to pass XIth and had quality education. The case is reversed now-a-days. “XIth is hell”. It is easy to pass Xth but most of the students become the prey of XIth drops out owing to their insincerity and faulty marking scheme and defective question papers.  I am not wrong; it is the official imperfection of Arunachal State Board and not that of CBSE.

Therefore, as a teacher, I would like to appeal all the parents and guardians to think of the mislaid 5 marks for map work by asking examination controller of respective district to award extra 5 marks in lieu of Q.No.19 because this 5 marks will definitely decide your ward’s kismet. Also I would like to request the Director of School Education to assign responsible and dedicated person to set question papers to get rid of such recurrence in the days to come.


Boyem Jerang, J/T

D.Ering Memorial Govt.Hr.Sec.School, Pasighat




We are demanding what is genuinely ours

Dear Editor,

May I ask a question to the leaders of AAPSU, how many more years should we be deprived of our Schedule Tribe Rights?  Is it our fault that we accepted the government of India into our land in 1961? Is it our fault that we helped Indian government to demarcate the Indo-Burma border and accepted the Indian citizenship by offering our land to be part of Indian Territory?

In the early part we were given all the facilities at par with other tribes of NEFA, but after the full fledge statehood of Arunachal, the Yobins were without any reason and in gross violation of the principle of natural justice were curtained with all those facilities and rights and made refugee in their own land. Who is responsible for this and for what reason?

The answer which we will never get. Some say it’s because of our religion, some say it is a high level political game to chase us away and grasp our land. Whatever may be the case; we are neither forfeiting our religion nor leaving our land at any cost.  

Our Journey for demanding the dues that the government owes us began, and after so many years of ups and downs, and so many studies conducted on the Yobin tribes and constitution of high powered committee by the government of Arunachal to study the case of the Yobins, and also voices by the people who are in media and groups who intimately and genuinely studied the case and status of the Yobin (Lisu), the Government of Arunachal Pradesh is finally paying back the dues to this marginalised people.

We have never demanded which is not ours, we have only demanded for restoration of what was ours.


Phuyosa Yobin




Treat us equal

Dear Editor,

Through your esteemed daily, I would like to draw the attention of the Arunachal Pradesh govt especially education department on the issue of banning of private tuitions practised by the govt. teachers. But unfortunately, I noticed that some govt servants from a high profile doctor to a simple pipe fitter or an electrician or even driver doing private job after doing their normal duty. Even many of the auto drivers of twin city of Itanagar and Naharlagun are govt employees and private assistants are running stenography (shorthand) centers then why only teachers are being banned from private tuition? As we all know that doctors are being paid NPA which is an extra allowance for not practicing private but then we find most of the doctors have their own clinics. So what is wrong if a govt teacher takes tuition in the evening and morning? So, I feel that govt putting a ban on teachers for taking private tuition is not justifiable. Or else govt should pay Non Teaching Allowance to the govt teachers.

I appeal ATA team to look into the matter. If govt wants to ban private practices on govt employees it should strictly prohibit all the govt employees from doing so. In addition to support our teacher community, I would also like to mention that education is the back bone of the society. So what is wrong on the part of a teacher if he/she making extra effort in imparting education. We should appreciate learned teachers who are working tirelessly in imparting quality education.


A Teacher




Are we papered to tackle Swine Flu?

Dear Editor,

Through your esteemed daily, I would like to raise some queries regarding swine-flu. Watching and reading about the number of swine-flu deaths in India, I am really concerned about our state's readiness to deal with the disease. As parents, we are even more concerned about our children’s safety from these diseases. I hope and wish that our health department is following this disease and are well equipped to control and treat it.


Tadar Babin

A-Sector, Naharlagun






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---- Editorial ----


Time for introspection  

As state gears up to celebrate 29th statehood day, it’s time for us to introspect and re-look at everything. In compare to rest of the country still we are way behind in terms of development. Even though percentage of literacy rate has increased but things are not improving. Instead of moving ahead, if one goes by the recent event unfolding in the state, it looks like we are going back to our old days. These days every clan is busy expanding their member. This is leading to formation of many clan based organizations.

Several instances of land encroachment by clan based groups are being reported from various parts of state in particularly from capital area. Today people are scared to drive around capital complex due to fear of fine system. Even for minor collision people are made to shell out huge amount of money as compensation. All these incidents give bad name to the state and badly hurt the image. Also it is noticed that even though citizens always seek development project but when government sanctions it they fight among themselves and don’t allow the projects to be executed properly. People of Arunachal will have to change their mindset if they want to compete with rest of the country.  If not, we will remain underdeveloped forever.