June 29

HM clarifies

ITANAGAR, June 28: In a dramatic turn of event, the home minister today said that the state Govt did not agree to suspend the SDPO temporarily for free and fair enquiry as demanded by the AAPSU yesterday.

Citing a news item published in section of local dailies today, the HM in a statement clarified that the government did not agree to suspend the SDPO Itanagar temporarily till the committee submits it’s report. However, he admitted that state Govt had agreed to constitute an independent fact finding committee headed by a senior level IAS officer.

While clarifying to the first demand of the AAPSU for immediate release of its president, HM stated it had clearly told representatives of apex student body that ‘they cannot influence the court since the matter is sub-judice.’ On demand for termination of SDPO, it clarified that “it has to know the pros and cons before arriving at any conclusion or decision for which it has agreed to constitute an independent committee headed by a senior level IAS officer and accordingly direction has been communicated to the principal secretary (home) on the body of the memorandum itself.”


Electricity supply restored at Seppa

SEPPA, June 28: The electricity supply at Seppa was restored today with the installation of new battery assembly at Pacha hydel station.  According to information received from the Executive Engineer, DHPD, Seppa Civil Division, there was no damage of the Pacha hydel station during the power crisis. DIPRO


‘Centre in principle approves airport project at Hollongi’

ITANAGAR, June 28: Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi today informed that union ministry of civil aviation has in principle approved construction of green field airport at Hollongi. This approval was given during recent meeting held at Delhi between officials of civil aviation ministry and state government representatives.  Negi further added that he has  written to union government to keep fund for starting land acquisition process in the coming budget.

“New union government is giving priority for construction of green field airport. As an outcome of the recent meeting at Delhi, a consultancy firm has been given responsibility to prepare detail project report. We are hopeful that union government will provide necessary budgetary support to start land acquisition process. We will also need fund to construct boundary wall/fencing, so that land acquired for airport is not encroached upon,” stated CS.  


ARASU reiterates demand for school renovation

ITANAGAR, June 28: Reiterating its demand for the early renovation of Govt. Higher Secondary School, Raga and Boa-Simla, the All Raga Area Students’ Union (ARASU) has threatened to launch democratic movement if the demand is not fulfilled at the earliest.

In a release, while informing that its team had inspected the two schools on June 23 last, said that the GHSS, Raga does not have Science (PCB PCM) and Political science teachers and GHSS, Boa-Simla has no official staffs like UDC and History, English, Political Science and Economic teachers.

With no science teacher in GHHS Raga, there was zero percent result in science stream during last AISSCE examination; it rued further adding that the principal’s quarter of GHHS Boa-Simla is completely damaged


AYA seeks relief for crop damage

ITANAGAR, June 28: The Apatani Youth Association (AYA) in a representation to the Lower Subansiri deputy commissioner today appealed him to depute expert team to assess the paddy crop damaged by bacteria leaf blight in Apatani plateau and sanction immediate relief to the farmers.

In its representation to the DC cum chairman, District Relief Committee, Lower Subansiri district, AYA  said that like the previous year, large scale of paddy crop are being damaged by bacteria leaf blight in Apatani plateau this year too.

“It is great concern to us that the damaging of paddy crop by bacterial leaf blight is recurring again and such disease was not recorded in past in the plateau,” the AYA president said while requesting for proper investigation into the case by expert team.


BJP unit highlights people’s hardships

ITANAGAR, June 28: Highlighting the hardships faced by the people of East Kameng district due to total power failure and delay in construction of the road from Seppa to Chayang Tajo, the East Kameng district unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has sought the intervention of the Deputy Commissioner in solving these burning problems.

Informing that power supply at Seppa town has been disrupted since June 11 due to serious mechanical failure at Pacha Hydel Station, the party urged the DC to instruct the department concerned to make an alternative arrangement like DG set to supply power atleast for few hours in a day until restoration of the hydel station.

While expressing serious concern over inordinate delay in completion of the road from Seppa to Chayang Tajo, the party blamed the Congress Government in the state for tardy progress of the said road works, and poor or non-implementation of various other welfare schemes and projects in the district. The party urged the DC to inspect the execution of various on-going welfare schemes and projects in East Kmeng for their smooth and proper implementation.


APHPMPB MD to attend training in Paris

ITANAGAR, June 28: Tage Tatung, Managing Director, Arunachal Pradesh Horticultural Produce Marketing  & Processing Board (APHPMPB) and State Nodal Officer of National Centre for Cold Chain Development  (NCCD) will be attending a five days Cold Chain Management Training organized by Cemafroid, Paris, France from June 30 to July 4.

The training is sponsored jointly by National Centre for Cold Chain Development, New Delhi, Government of India and Government of France.

The Cold Chain Development is not only an urgent necessity for proper marketing of the horticulture and agricultural produce, but it is also an important component for the department of Fisheries, Veterinary  Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development, Health and Family Welfare and Industries department.

Creation of proper Cold Chain infrastructure is must for proper and smooth growth of these related departments, especially for highly perishable Horticultural produces. For the greater interest of the farmer’s community in the State, Government of Arunachal Pradesh has created “Arunachal Pradesh Horticultural Produce Marketing & Processing Board for carrying out marketing of the Horticultural produces. Proper marketing of perishable Horticultural produces will provide remunerative price to the farmers of their produce thereby raising their economic status. It will also encourage farmers to grow more. For overall development in the state it is necessary to make our farmers self reliant and self dependant, the APHPM & PB Managing Director informed in a release.   


Hoteliers say no to donations

ITANAGAR, June 28: The Hotel Association of Papumpare today resolved that it would not consider any request from various unions and students’ bodies of the state and Capital complex for any kind of donation and contributions.  

In a press statement the hoteliers association said that the bold decision was taken after considering the various problems including obtaining of no objection certificates faced by the hoteliers in the Capital Complex. The association also discussed the exorbitant fee allegedly charged by the Arunachal Pradesh State Pollution Control Board for NOC.


Legal awareness camp at Gumto

ITANAGAR, June 28: Arunachal Pradesh State Legal Services Authority today conducted a one-day legal awareness camp at Gumto ME School campus, Gumto village near Doimukh.  A large number of villagers, gaon burahs, anchal samity members, students and teachers of the Gumto ME school took part in the programme.

In his speech Tana Taram, anchal samiti member, Gumto, while appreciating the state legal service authority for organizing the programme, called upon the participants to avail maximum benefits.

Various resource persons including Budi Habung, district & session judge, Yupia cum member secretary, State Legal Services Authority, Dani Belo, under secretary, law and OSD, State Legal Services authority, Deepa Yoka, advocate  spoke on the topics - Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, role of legal services authority and AP victim compensation scheme 2011 during the day-long camp.


AACWA demands release of contractors’ bills

ITANAGAR, June 28: Expressing happiness over the disclosure of state Govt about sound financial health of the state, All Arunachal Contractor’s Welfare Association (AACWA) today urged the state Govt for immediate lifting of Civil deposit system at all treasury offices and release of bills of all contractors and executing agencies which have been lying unpaid in various departments. The contractors are facing financial problems due to non- release of payment by the state Govt, the association said in a release.

Claiming that most of the parents were in financial problems as they have to send their children in schools, colleges and other educational institutions for higher studies, AACWA General Secretary Nabam Akin Hina informed that many of the petty contractors had taken loan from private parties and completed the works which were  awarded before the  general elections, but the Govt has not released the contractors’ payment  yet.

AACWA also condemned physical attack on AAPSU president.  The Union is fighting in state’s interest in democratic ways. Therefore, police authority should tackle the matter peaceful way, it said.


News Impact

CS calls for peaceful atmosphere

for development

ITANAGAR, June 28: Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi today appealed to the people of Arunachal Pradesh to create peaceful atmosphere so that development can take centre stage. Interacting with press persons this afternoon at his conference hall, Negi stated that bandh call do not benefit anyone except the government employees, who use it as holiday to stay back home.

“Today large section of Arunachalee people depends on daily income to sustain life. They get badly affected if there is bandh call. During recent capital bandh, majority of citizens took to social media and other forum to express their disapproval. This is a positive sign as it shows that people of Arunachal is fed up with bandh culture,” said CS. “We need to generate hope and for that it is important to have peaceful atmosphere,” Negi stated. He said that tourism, agro based food processing unit and real estate is emerging as major force of growth in recent year. “Emergence of Ziro as new hub of tourism is heartening story. It is happening not because of any help from government. The credit goes to local people of Ziro for this. Now with their initiative Ziro has every chance of attaining the world heritage site,” said CS. He also mentioned places like Dirang, Mechuka as emerging tourist destination apart from traditional destination like Tawang.  

Informing that a Pune based company is producing wine from Kiwi collected from Dirang, the CS stated that this will encourage agro-horticulture in the state. “Places like Dirang, Pasighat, Rupa have immense potential to be developed as hub of agro-based industry. Some small unit industries have started functioning and it is a good sign. But again local people need to support such development activities,” Negi added. Further he added, “With income level increasing, real estate sector will witness boom in Itanagar, Naharlagun, Hollongi and also at district headquarters. This will provide employment opportunities to many engineering graduates as private real estate companies will start investing soon.” Chief Secretary also told that out of 4 thousand students selected under job mela, twelve hundred has got employment and are working in various states of India.  Underscoring the need to improve road condition of capital, Negi stated that 23 kilometer stretch of sector road will converted into RCC road soon. “The tender process will start as soon as monsoon season gets over. We have decided to convert existing road into RCC one to battle the monsoon fury. As per as NH-52(A) is concern, there are plans to upgrade it in near future,” said CS. He also assured to instruct deputy commissioners of capital complex and Papum Pare to take action against those persons who are indulging in illegal construction activities nearby road thus causing damage to the highway. CS also stated that implementation of 6th pay commission in the state took toil on the financial condition of state. “We have taken initiatives to control the situation and it is yielding fruit. For example, earlier annually government uses to buy more that 250 new vehicles per year. Now we buy hardly 30 to 40 vehicles per year. We are reducing unnecessary expense so that developmental projects are given proper fund,” Negi continued. Secretary IPR Dani Sulu and other officers of IPR were also present on the occasion.  



TSG Memorial Football tournament begins

ITBP edge past Todo United in opener

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, June 28: Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) Force edged past Todo United Football Club by solitary goal in the opening match of the first Takam Sharmila Gora Memorial Football Tournament at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Naharlagun today.

W. Madhu Singh scored the all important goal few seconds before the end of the first half.

Both the teams started the match on a cautious note but ITBP gradually took control of the proceedings. As the first half progressed, the para-military team from Kimin increased the pace of attack with long passes making rapid inroads into Todo United defence. Todo United custodian made some fine saves before Madhu Singh slammed the ball into the net in 39th minutes which later turned out to be the match winner.

Todo United made all out efforts in the second half to find the equalizer but failed to score thanks to poor finishing. Sherap Bhutia of ITBP was sent off in 53rd minutes by referee for foul play.

Two matches will be played tomorrow. While Capital Complex SC will play against Bamang Taji FC in the first match at 1.45 pm Gangte Togung FC will face Football Club Doimukh in the second match at 3.30 pm.

Earlier, addressing the opening ceremony, Parliamentary Secretary (Sports and Youth Affairs) Likha Saaya reiterated the state government’s commitment in giving priority to sports sector. Highlighting the state Government’s various sports friendly programmes and policies, he assured to try his best for further development of games and sports in Arunachal Pradesh.

Saying that Arunachal Pradesh has potential to produce world class player, Saaya assured his all help and cooperation to associations in identifying latent sports talents and grooming them. Appreciating the organization of the tournament in memory of Takam Sharmila Gora, Saaya said that such tournaments provide a good platform to the budding players to show their talents.

Later, Saaya along with Arunachal Pradesh Football Association general secretary Geshi Doke felicitated Techi Amin, who represented India in Girls U-14 Asian Confederation Cup Football in Sri Lanka early this year. Saaya presented memento to Amin as a token of encouragement before kicking off the tournament.

Earlier, senior football player and former ANSU finance secretary Takam Tayam highlighted about Takam Sharmila Gora, in whose memory the tournament is organized.

Sharmila was the eldest daughter of Takam Tama and Takam Yachum of Palin. Born in 1978 at Haflong, Sharmila did her schooling from St. Xavier’s School Harmuty during 1985-1993 and passed Class XII from NEHU, Shillong in 1995. She graduated with honours from then Govt. College, Itanagar in Political Science in 1999. She did her post graduation in Political Science from then Arunachal University in 2001.

During her college days she took part in various cultural, literary and sports activities. She won the best table tennis player award and was adjudged as the best dancer in traditional category.

She took part in AAPSU’s Delhi Chalo programme in 1994 and also participated in All India Catholic Youth Conference held in Kerala in 1995. She was also the Women Wing president of AAPSU from 1997-99.

She joined in government service as UDC in IPR department on deputation in 2002 and later joined at Governor’s Secretariat in 2004. She was promoted as Assistant in 2008.

She married to Gora Makik, the owner of Gora Makik Sporting Club, in 2002. She died in a tragic road accident on April 7, 2013. She left behind a son and daughter, informed Tayam.



Aaz Ki Awaaz’ urges Rijiju to develop infrastructure

ITANAGAR, June 28: A team from ‘Aaz Ki Awaaz’ headed by its chief managing director Hiba Kaha met Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju at his office in New Delhi today.

During the meeting, the team urged Rijiju to take initiative to provide road connectivity to every village, bring every village/area in Arunachal Pradesh under mobile network coverage, to construct bridges where necessary and proper drainage system. They also urged the Union Minister to take proper initiative for promotion and development of state’s tourism sector. The team also urged Rijiju to avail private news slot from the Doordarshan Delhi for broadcasting various developmental activities, border issues and endangered species.

After patience hearing, the Union Minister has assured the team to take up the issues, especially infrastructure development,  drinking water facility, border roads and law order, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for early materialization, claimed the Hiba in a release.

He, however, said that he needs people’s cooperation in order to fulfill the hopes and aspirations of people of the state and nation as a whole.



AAPSU decides to continue stir in favour of  charter of demand

ITANAGAR, June 28: The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) today decided to continue the democratic movement against the state Government till its demands are fulfilled. This decision was taken by AAPSU in its meeting held  here on its seven-point charter of demands.  

Coming down heavily on Home Minister Tanga Byaling for his statement against AAPSU where he had reportedly said that ‘the demands placed by AAPSU are not genuine and that they are not valid because they are routine works of government,” AAPSU said that whatever comment made by the minister is totally ‘immature and irresponsive.’

Acute shortage of drinking water and electricity in the twin capital is rampant and ‘we cannot survive without the basic needs of everyday life, AAPSU said adding that bad road within capital complex sometimes remind us that we are still in the jungle.’ If all those demands are not genuine then what is the purpose of state government and their job, said AAPSU GS Biru Nasi.

Claiming that demands placed by apex student body are very much genuine and meaningful to the people of state,  AAPSU strongly demanded  for immediate  release of pending stipends. Even the stipend provided to  the students of our state is very less in compare to other northeastern states,  said AAPSU.

“Appointment of chairman and vice chairman with lots of allowance and facilities to them is not acceptable and is wastage of public exchequer too.  State is already facing financial instability because of which they unable to provide staff salaries, students’ stipend and pending bill of contractors. During such worse period the government doesn’t even hesitate to appoint the above mentioned positions.”

AAPSU also strongly criticized the statement of Bamang Felix, Govt spokesperson where he had said that the state government is financially stable and sound. “If it is true then the government should not hesitate to provide white paper about the financial status which is a basic right of everyone and also the government must have been able to fulfill those demands made by AAPSU if they were financially sound.”

Meanwhile, AESDSU (All East Siang District Students’ Union) while condemning the brutality of police, demanded termination of SDPO  Bomge Kamduk. It also assured to extend its support to AAPSU movement, according to AAPSU release.



Inferno at GHSS Seppa, important documents gutted

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, June 28: The major portion of the two-decade old school building of Govt Higher Secondary School, Seppa Bebo Colony was gutted in a devastating fire on Friday night.

At least six rooms of the OBT school building including the principal and vice principal chambers and staff common room were extensively damaged by the fire, police informed.

Informing that the fire was probably broke out around 11:55 pm on Friday night, the police sources, however, revealed that the fire brigade received information from unknown caller stating that the incident occurred around 12.01 am. “After receiving emergency call from the unknown person, the fire brigade quickly reacted and swung into action” informed Dy SP Bomto Kamdak.

Police believed that the fire may emanate from teachers’ common room wherein most of the documents were stored. The inferno was so powerful that it engulfed the entire building within no time and gutted down important files and documents, said Dy SP.

However, the fire service personnel doused the fire around 4.pm in the morning. The team had to break the wall in order to save the important documents from the teachers’ common room, Dy SP informed. He also divulged that fire brigade team could save furniture from Class XII Arts room, three wooden Almirahs from teacher common room, and one computer and a partially damaged Xerox machine. Kamdak further informed that a case was registered with Police station Seppa (case no 54/14 under section 436 IPC.)

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, the police said adding all possible angles are examining closely, as the mischievous act of miscreants cannot be ruled out.  It is said that there is less possibility of short circuit as the district has been facing power crisis for the past two months.

Meanwhile, All East Kameng Students ‘ Union (AEKSU) opined that the school building might be intentionally set on fire by miscreants and urged the police authority to ascertain the cause of the fire and nab the culprits if any.



Take responsibility for improving education scenario’


ROING, June 28: Parliamentary Secretary for Horticulture Mutchu Mithi today called on the people to take unto themselves the responsibilities for improving the education scenario in the district and not to depend only on government for solutions to problems. He said this during the inauguration of the newly constructed twin hostel for boys and girls at Government Secondary School (GSS) Koronu built by the DRDA under Special Plan Assistance (SPA).

The boy's dormitory was inaugurated by the Parliamentary Secretary and the girl's dormitory by Roing Deputy Commissioner Shiv Kumar, of capacity 25 beds each.

Appreciating the Deputy Commissioner, Mutchu said that he has been putting his best effort to improve the conditions of all the schools in the district. "However, he alone cannot achieve if the people are not ready to shoulder responsibilities," said Mutchu.

Encouraging the School Management Committee (SMC) to take bold decisions, he said it is worth annoying one person if the decision has good effect on 100 people. This he said in response towards the SMC expressing its inability to take action against the erring teachers.

Mutchu also encouraged the parents to take participation in their ward's education saying that a community can progress only through education.

Speaking to the gathering, Deputy Commissioner brought out his observations of the school he made during his visits. "The children aren't lacking in any aspect, but what they lack is proper guidance," he said and cited his one observation that the classes were being called off early before the school timing. This shows lack in sincerity on part of the teachers, said Kumar.

On shortage of school benches and desks, he suggested the school authority to write to NHPC Ltd or other corporate bodies for help. He also asked the school authority to prepare proposal for all school and hostel requirements so that it can be taken up with corporate bodies for fulfillment.  For running of hostel mess, the Deputy Commissioner offered to lend money from DC's local fund on condition that it is timely refunded when students' stipend is received after every six month.

Earlier, the SMC chairperson of Koronu GSS school Predi Mepo informed the visiting guests on the poor condition of the school. The school has been running without a designated head master for four years. It also lacks clerical staffs and peon. The teachers have poor accommodation and all the government quarters are in need for urgent repair. The teachers barrack is also in dilapidated condition. Mepo also spelled out the need for facilities such as auditorium, drainage and boundary wall.

Following the inauguration and meeting between officials, teaching staffs, villager and public leaders, the visiting team made an inspection of the classrooms of Koronu School. During the inspection, the team ensured the school authority for proper implementation of mid day meal.

Thereafter, the visiting team made an inspection of the Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Koronu. The team expressed dissatisfaction on the performance of the PHC and irregular attendance of the doctor, after having taken note of the OPD diary. They requested the district medical officials for ensuring availability of basic medicines as there is high chances of the place getting cut off from Roing, the district headquarter owing to heavy monsoon rains.

The visit to PHC was followed by an inspection of government residential school, Injonu run by Kera-Aa Society (KAS) under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA). The team after the inspection of the school assured to provide funds for hostel kitchen and repair of floors and ceilings. The team also requested the BRO officials accompanying to help erect boundary fence for the school compound.

Along with the head of departments from education, WRD, and PWD departments, the visit to Koronu was accompanied by Raja Lingi, Anchal Chairperson, Roing, Monti Linggi, Anchal Chairperson, Koronu and Ateko Mena, Zeela Mega, BCC President and local panchayat leaders..



DEWFEDS reacts, urges sanctuary authority to nab hunters

ITANAGAR, June 28:  The Daying Ering Wildlife Foundation Eco-Development Society (DEWFEDS) while responding to the statement of Divisional Forest Officer of DEWLS regarding death of a buffalo inside the Sanctuary said that the DEWFEDS has been working for the protection, preservation and conservation of the wildlife and forest resources in the region. The DFO instead of launching thorough enquiry and interrogating the suspected hunters termed the dedicated activities of DEWFEDS as malafide one, it said.

The wildlife authority had lodged an FIR against DEWFEDS members as a move of defending themselves, which is a very condemnable act on their part. DEWFEDS termed this move of wildlife authority as irresponsible and discouraging to the wildlife and forest conservation in the region as this act will send a wrong message to the people particularly to hunters.

Regarding non-obtaining of permission from DFO before entering the Sanctuary, the DEWFEDS clarified that, the NGO received a sudden message on the night of 11th June from its Village Level Committee intelligence network about the killing of a buffalo inside the Sanctuary somewhere around a place locally called ‘Jopong Patang’. So without wasting much time, the eight members team of the NGO rushed to the Borguli Range camp on 12th June where the DEWFEDS was to inform and take the Ranger and Dy. Ranger along, but finding no any officers and regular staffs in the camp, the team requested the three contingency staffs to accompany them, but they also denied the request.

However, despite any supports from the wild life warden, the local NGO team located the decomposed carcass of the said Buffalo after a thorough search operation.

As per the observation of the NGO, the cause of the death of the buffalo was an act of poachers as there was a fire place and a drying stand just besides the carcass.   On seeing the news report regarding the carcass of wild buffalo, the DFO sent its Ranger and Deputy Ranger for spot verification. During the visit the forest official did not seek any cooperation from the DEWFEDS. Instead, a case of trespassing was booked against the member of the DEWFEDS when the team least expected about it hoping for an accolades from wildlife authority of the division and from PCCF office.

The DEWFEDS appealed to the department to book illegal trespassers into the wild life sanctuary.

Apart from these there are reports of daily cases of trespassing from Assam side by the cattle grazers deep inside the Sanctuary, even commuters from Assam has made Sanctuary’s river bank as ferry ghat, thereby posing great threat to the wildlife of the Sanctuary. But sanctuary officials failed to initiate any action or lodge FIR against the violators.

It is unfortunate that, the local NGO is being targeted simply because that DEWFEDS raises questions against their negligence and wrong doings of the wild life authority.

Despite this confrontation between the DFO and DEWFEDS, the local NGO DEWFEDS is ready to co-operate with the wildlife authority for protection, preservation and conservation of wildlife and forest resources in the area.It also urged the DFO to immediately issue permission to NGO for entering into the sanctuary area in such important wild life issue.



DC calls for effective implementation of COTPA in East Siang

PASIGHAT, June 28: East Siang Deputy Commissioner Nidhi Srivastava yesterday gave a clarion call for effective enforcement of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA)-2003 in the district. Attending a workshop on   enforement of COTPA-2003 here, the DC said the East Siang should create an example as role model in COTPA implementation for  rest of the state and  in fighting the ill-effects of tobacco with effective strategy and mechanism.  The event was organized by the District Tobacco Control Cell in collaboration with a New Delhi based NGO, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases. It was participated by ZPC Kaling Dai, Chief Councilor (PMC) Denong Tamuk, i/c SP Tab Techi, school principals and host of officers and leaders including councilors and PRIs.

The DC appealed all to create a safe and healthy environment for future generations. “We must draw public attention  towards dangerous effect of tobacco use and ask the users to refrain from consumptions because tobacco consumption and smoking can lead to deadly diseases like cancer. We have to organize awareness campaigns, health camps and rallies at village level to create a tobacco-free society involving common masses.”

She appreciated the East Siang ABK women wing for launching their recent extensive ‘advocacy efforts’ in this regard. If anyone is  found selling cigarettes, bidi, khaini, gutkha and other tobacco products without displaying pictorial board of 60cm x 30 cm, specifying the warning at the selling points, suitable action will be taken against him/her as per law.

Along the  awareness drive there will be joint raids by taskforces of health, police and admin against violators of  Act and orders of the Govt.

While assuring to intensify magisterial vigilance in and around educational institutions under Section 6(a) of the COTPA which prohibits minor’s access to tobacco products, DC informed that many shops have been seized by the administration for violation of COTPA rules. Srivastava advised the DMO to conduct awareness campaign in higher level schools and rural areas  about the bad effect of  tobacco products and provision of COTPA. DIPRO



Tuki and Rebia visit state’s tourism office in Delhi

ITANAGAR, June 28: Chief Minister Nabam Tuki along with Speaker Nabam Rebia on Friday visited the newly revamped Arunachal Tourism Office at Arunachal Bhawan in New Delhi.

The Chief Minister went through the publicity brochures developed by Arunachal Tourism and appreciated the efforts of the department in the national capital. He advised the departmental officials to explore the vast tourism potential of the state and exhorted them to play a pro-active role in publicity of the state’s vast tourism potential and bring it on to the global tourism map.

Speaker Rebia also joined the Chief Minister in appreciating the recently launched ‘Coffee Table Book on Arunachal Pradesh. He advised the Tourism Department to set up Tourism Information Centres at Banderdewa and Balukpong initially to facilitate both domestic and international tourists.

A copy of the ‘Coffee Table book called “In Search of Solace-Arunachal Pradesh” published by the State’s Tourism Department was presented to both the Chief Minister and Speaker by Adong Moyong, DTO, New Delhi.



Forest wealth of Arunachal Pradesh: legal issues and concerns

Dr Topi Basar

Arunachal Pradesh has the second highest forest cover of 67,410 sq km (80.50% of total State’s geographical area) and has the highest percentage of highly dense forest of 20,868 sq km in the country (India State of Forest Report 2011). The State is also one of the world’s 18 biodiversity hotspots. Indeed blessed with tremendous natural resources with vast potential for forest and agro based model of economy.

The tribal or indigenous people of Arunachal Pradesh have an inextricable relation with the forest. The forest holds a central position in every tribe’s socio-economic and cultural matrix of life. It is believed that nobody knows and understands the forest better than the village elderly tribe. Every aspects of society whether it is basic requirements and cultural ethos are somewhat connected to forest. It is the lifeline of the society. Other than the Government owned reserve forest, protected forest, wild life sanctuaries, national parks everything else such as land, forest, rivers, trees etc have owners as an individual, family or community which is customarily recognized. Customary laws become the main source of law in our social fabric. The Constitution of India includes “custom” as a source of law under Article 13 as long as the custom is not contrary to any Constitutional provisions. These traditional institutions have a major role to play in forest matters at the village level. The dynamics of customary laws pertaining to forest needs to be well understood by the policy makers.

Therefore, the Draft Arunachal Pradesh Forest Act 2014 prepared by the Dept. of Forest has immense relevance to the people and State of Arunachal Pradesh. It may be easily regarded as one of the most crucial legislation to be enacted so far. A comprehensive law on forest is much desirable in order to have a holistic approach to all the problems associated with forest ranging from conservation, regulation to sustainable management of forest resources and livelihood issues with an inward looking policy rather than outward. Since the forest in context of the State is very unique to itself.

Forest laws in India both pre-colonial and post independence have tried to address myriad issues pertaining to Forest with the objectives of conservation, management and regulation of forest by the State which are largely State centric in essence. The advent of pre-colonial and post independence laws like the Forest Act of 1864, which empowered the colonial government to declare any forest land as government forest; a process strengthened in the 1878 Act, which classified forests into ‘protected forests’, ‘reserved forests’ and ‘village forests’; the National Forest policy of 1894, which re-iterated the regulation of rights and restriction of privileges of ‘users’ in forest areas for the public good; the Land Acquisition Act of 1894, which permits compulsory acquisition of land for a ‘public purpose’; and the 1927 Act, which remains the main legal basis for depriving forest dwellers of their user rights to forest resources. The post-colonial Indian State reinforced centralized control of forests with its National Forest Policy of 1952, which focused on protecting forest resources while commercially exploiting minor forest produce, and the Forest Conservation Act of 1980, which placed all forests under the control of the central government. It also continued utilizing other colonial land acquisition laws for the ‘public good’ in the name of development. The displacement of forest dwellers thus continued, evicted from their traditional homesteads under the Wild Life Protection Act of 1972 and its 1991 amendment, which severely restricted the rights of forest dwellers in wildlife sanctuaries and curtailed their rights in national parks. All these virtually left the forest dwellers and private forest land owners at the mercy of the State by vesting all the powers and controls in the State which made people landless. But, notably the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act or PESA 1996 conferred significant powers on the Gram Sabhas, specifically mentioning that these local governance bodies should have the control over natural resources within their jurisdiction. It recognized traditional rights of tribal to community resources (land, water and forests) and decentralized existing approaches to forest governance by bringing the Gram Sabha at the centrestage for managing minor forest produces and social forestry.

The judiciary in India has always played a very proactive role in environment and forest issues of the country. In the Godavarman case (1995), the Supreme Court completely banned tree felling across the entire country, including North East; it ordered saw mills to close down where a complete ban was directed; and it banned any transportation of timber out of the North East. In Samatha v. State of AP (1997), a five-judge bench of the SC recognized that for tribals, forests are their traditional source of sustenance. They have a historical right to minor forest produce and to community residence on forest land. These rights of tribals had been neglected in Godavarman orders. The restriction placed on forest use and access have had an especially debilitating effect on the tribal communities in the North East. However, a landmark judgement of the SC in Vedanta mining case (2013) wherein the court recognized that the Dongria Kondh’s ( tribal of Odisha’s Niyamgiri hill) right to worship their sacred mountain must be ‘protected and preserved’, and that those with religious and cultural rights must be heard in the decision-making process reflects change in judicial perception of tribal or indigenous peoples traditional rights over natural resources.

After a prolonged mass movement by the forest dwellers mainly tribal of Central India, the Government of India enacted the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act 2006 enforced on 2008(FRAs) amended again in 2012.The most remarkable feature of this law is that it recognizes the tribal and local communities rights over the forest and access and utilization of minor forest produce (right to “bonafide livelihood needs”, “disposal of minor forest produce” vide Sec. 3). The Act mandates creation of Forest Rights Committee (by Gram Sabha) at the local level, Sub-Divisional Level Committee, District Level Committee and State Level Monitoring Committee at the apex. The main function of the Gram Sabha is to determine the nature and extent of forest rights claimed and pass a resolution on claims on forest rights, consider resettlement packages, constitute committees, prepare plan for community forest resources, approve all decisions of the committee etc. The Act confers significant power and function to the Gram Sabha. Further, it lays down that the delineation of community forest resource may include existing legal boundaries such as Reserve Forest, Protected Forest, National Parks and Sanctuaries and such delineation shall formalize and recognize the powers of the community in access, conservation and sustainable use of such community forest resources.

The Assam Forest Regulation, 1891,the Arunachal Pradesh Anchal Forest Reserve (Constitution and Maintenance) Act 1975, as  amended in 1981 and 1984 and the Arunachal Pradesh Forest (Removal of Timber) Regulation Act, 1983 will have to be suitably modified in the light of new forest laws enforced after 1983 in the country. Most importantly, the FRAs 2006 as amended in 2012 and Rules made. The main objective and purpose of the Forest law in the State should be conservation, sustainable use, community participation. The first one would need a proper regulation, mechanism and policies; for sustainable use, the law and policies framed thereon should address the issues of livelihood and food security of the people and regarding community participation, it is important to legally empower the community as being the main stakeholders in the forest. The proposed law must recognize the tribal and community rights on the forest while ensuring conservation at the same time. The settlement of forest rights claim under the law must recognize the relevant customary laws of a relevant tribal community. The customary laws and practices on land rights should be respected by the new law. An amalgamation of customary and formal law in principle would be more effective.  The best way to do this would be to involve the local Panchayat institution while empowering them with decision making process in the implementation of the proposed forest Act.

We need to devise a suitable mechanism in order to actively involve the community in the whole process. The Government should develop special incentive measures for the community and provide adequate technical and economic support. In order to check depletion of forest, dependence on forest by the people needs to be minimized. For instance, the government will have to ensure LPG supply to every village to cut down the use of fire wood. Also, the people should be made aware not to burn firewood continuously during the winters at home in the villages. We need to put in place adequate alternative measures by involving all the relevant departments of the government. Legal policies framed in isolation will not achieve anything. All the Government departments should be involved to come out with a workable policy. The proposed forest Act will have to create space for implementation of these related measures having a direct bearing on the conservation of forest.

The State government should focus more on policy making. Locally originating policies will be more practicable as long as it is not contrary to the law of the land. Most of the time, the policies and programs fail to achieve its purpose as it may not be locally workable because it is not made for a special target. This philosophy should underlie in the making of the current Draft forest Act. Since forest being a concurrent subject both the Centre and State can legislate on it. However, as per Article 254 of the Constitution, in the event of State law on the same subject becoming repugnant to the Central law, the later will override the former. Hence any State legislated forest law must incorporate the basic features of the Central Act. In other word, the State law cannot say “no” to the same thing said “yes” by the Central law (repugnancy).        

Conservation of forest requires a joint effort between the State and the people. The role of the State should be a regulator and facilitator and the people should become the key actors in conservation. Already many communities are doing that role customarily and voluntarily which needs to be supported by the State by rendering technical supports and incentives to take up conservation work in a big way. As one of the legal expert consulted on the draft of the Forest Act, we recommended some major modification in the draft to the Dept. of Forest who has prepared it. Stressing upon the forest rights of tribal and communities, need for inter-departmental and wide scale consultation of stakeholders particularly experts on customary laws on forest in order to further refine the draft. It is indeed a challenging task in hand considering the importance and significance of forest to people and the State as a whole.  (The contributor is an Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi)



Opportunity favours the brave: the story of a journalist, entrepreneur and social activist

R  Jokik

It’s natural to love the good things of life….good house, latest gadgets, cars, good clothes etc. Once in a blue moon we come across a person whose beliefs and practices are far above the prospect of generating wealth. I met this young man Yachang Tacho, a very articulated and a soft spoken person with a camera slung across his shoulder in many official and unofficial meetings. To me he appeared just like any other normal reporter. One fine day I received an invitation for the launch of the first vernacular newspaper of the state “Supung Puyu”- editor Yachang Tacho. I had an opportune moment to interact with and was at awe at the perseverance and diligence of this young man.

As a young graduate he posed as a tea hawker in the Deputy Commissioner’s office premises, Ziro and sold tea. Yes, there were jibes and deriding remarks thrown at his face but he wasn’t deterred. He went ahead, sold tea, concretizing his belief and spreading the message to the unemployed youths that work, no matter how small, done with conviction and passion is as respectful as any other job.  With small donations from his own family members he organized youth personality development camps in the Hapoli and consequently was awarded district best youth award for 2006-07 by Nehru Yuva Kendra during its 34th Foundation Day on 14th Nov, 2006.

He publishes/edits the local paper “The Subansiri” and the first Apatani newspaper “Supung Puyu”. With so many newspapers mushrooming up and with a very meager income just enough to print his supply of newspapers this 33-year-old man is a fighter to the core. Today he is termed as the mouthpiece of the Apatanis. His father Yachang Tago of Dutta village is a proud man today.

Tacho is also working with many NGOs in various capacities. He is also the secretary of Neeti Society Ziro (NSZ). Under his leadership NSZ joined the Murung festival’s phen procession and in collaboration with Arunachal Pradesh State AIDS Control Society (APSACS), Naharlagun organized an HIV/AIDS awareness program through Street Show covering about 20 km on foot on January 11 last. The 20 odd number of artists in various costumes’ marched the 20 km stopping at few vital points and enacted street plays related to AIDS awareness and prevention. This initiative received awe reviews from the entire district and was covered by premier newspapers of the state.  Encouraged by the success, NSZ also presented a street show on Disaster Management covering another 20 km on foot, presenting tips on disaster management on January 16, 2014. Tacho managed to train 10-20 youths as artists for performing these street plays. He has managed to channelize the youth power. Given more opportunities and a better platform Tacho is a promising man.  Recently the Apatani Youth Association, the oldest NGO of the district in its 41st foundation day felicitated Tacho in recognition of his contribution to the Apatani society.

Tacho is cooperative, informative and very humble. His dedication towards his work is truly inspiring. When most of the youths today have sidelined journalism owing to so many risk factors and very low financial returns, Tacho dedicatedly with so many financial constrains and threats runs two newspapers in the district  -- an English weekly “the Subansiri” and the first vernacular newspaper of the state “ Supung Puyu” in Apatani.

Apart from publishing newspapers Tacho is an active social activist. The Neeti Society under his leadership conducted series of medical camps in remote areas of Ziro plateau without any support from any agencies. When xyz departments claim immobility due to fund crunches, this young man did manage to conduct not just medical camps, but awareness as well as personality development camps. He is a man of strong will. His enthusiasm is infectious. His zeal for mobilizing youths and his convictions that a pen is mightier than a sword can definitely influence wayward youths.   (The writer is a DIPRO, Ziro)



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