March  19


News Impact


The Longding district is born: Challenges aplenty ahead

Denhang Bosai

The 19th March, 2012 will be inscribed in golden letters in the annals of the Wanchos’ chequered history. They have traversed a long and arduous journey from the infamous head-hunting days to the present day of cut-throat competition when they are raring to go and create a niche for themselves in all spheres of life. The much- needed and the long-felt demand of the Wanchos is being realized today when Longding is being declared the 17th District of the State of Arunachal Pradesh.  This is not only a day of celebration, but a day for serious introspection as the responsibility of the Wanchos will grow in self-governance and progress. The Wanchos known for their martial traditions and glorious past are today desperately itching to savour the sweet taste of modern development and move forward along with the people of other districts. In this context the decision of the state government to create Longding district is indeed laudable and praise-worthy as it will help accelerate the pace of development.

Today, as Longding district is born, I am overwhelmed by emotions because I had travelled the length and breadth of Longding area as a part of my duty.  However, once it becomes a separate district I may not get too many chances to go around in the new district on official duty. Personally I have a mixed feeling today: a feeling of elation and sadness. I am elated because the Wanchos will now have this opportunity to govern themselves and give themselves a chance to be a part of the developmental processes in the state. Sad, because the Wanchos will no longer remain with us in Tirap district. Here, I may be permitted to say that development per se leaves a lot to be desired in most part of Longding district, especially in border areas.  

The light of development is yet to reach the far-flung places of the infant district and the people are yet to savour the sweet fruit of development. During my frequent tours to different pockets of Wancho areas I observed that the most alarming malaise afflicting, especially the youth is opium addiction.  I saw even teenagers getting hooked to this addictive drug. This dangerous trend if not arrested now, has the potential to cripple the Wancho society. The Wancho society must address this burgeoning problem urgently before it completely destroys the youth in whose hands the future of Longding district lies.

The alarming number of school drop-outs and lack of proper healthcare facilities, especially in the interior areas are the other grey areas which the Wanchos must accord top priority to. Due to the large scale shifting cultivation practised by the people, especially in the upper Wancho-belt, the green forest cover is fast depleting. All the hills and mountains appear clean-shaven with no standing trees whatsoever. Sadly, there is no tangible effort from any quarters for aforestation activities to replenish the vanishing greeneries. This is a sure recipe for a major catastrophe. Even the headquarters Longding is bereft of any plantation. The elected leaders, Panchayat leaders, NGOs, senior citizens and the intelligentsia need a serious brainstorming on this important issue. The Noctes and the Wanchos had always shared a cordial relation since time immemorial both during village feuds and peace time.  In fact, the Borduria group of villages had a friendly alliance with Nyonyu and Chanu groups of villages in the past.  So also the Namsang group of villages in Nocte areas maintained cordial relations with Ninu, Senua and Chopnu.  History tells us that during the feuds between Borduria and Namsang villages, these groups of Wancho villages used to lend support to their respective alliance partners. However, it is indeed sad that the Wanchos may have to live with the never ending scourge of insurgency like the people of Tirap district as no attempt whatsoever is being made to solve the vexed problem. I feel that with their tenacity, grit and the willingness to work hard, the Wanchos will leave every tribe in the state behind sooner than later. Though some misguided youth have chosen the wrong path of violence, many young Wanchos are serving in the Indian army. In fact, the maximum youth serving in the defence forces from the state are Wanchos.  

The Wanchos with the population of 41,109 (according to 2001 census, numbers likely to change once the 2011 census is published), are known for their intrinsic skills in gun-making, bead-making, wood carving etc.  They have inherited a rich legacy of songs and dances which are successfully preserved in original form even today unlike many other tribes in the state.  Music is in their blood and all Wanchos seem to be good singers and dancers as these arts come naturally to them. Recently Nokngam Lukham was adjudged the first runners up in the Voice of Arunachal singing contest. He sang into the hearts of all the music lovers irrespective of ethnic entities.  The present Wancho elected leaders are also trying their best to usher in unprecedented development in the Wancho dominated areas.  

In fact, conferring of district status to Longding is the outcome of the persistent and concerted efforts put in by the Wancho elected leaders.  The ever hardworking WRD Minister, N. Tingkhatra has brought about a sea change in terms of all round development, especially in Kannubari town and its outskirts. The stupendous development in the area speaks volumes about his sincere efforts to make a difference in the lives of the ordinary Wanchos.  

The affable, soft-spoken and amiable leader in Honchun Ngandam, Parliamentary Secretary, Horticulture is leaving no stone unturned to bring smiles to the Wanchos living in Wakka and Pongchau which are considered to be the most backward due to their remoteness. Their proximity with Myanmar and Nagaland is not helping their cause at all.  Thangwang Wangham, Parliamentary Secretary, IPR who is known for his oratory skills and out-spoken nature is quietly preparing a road map for development of Longding and Pumao areas.  Hopefully after Longding becomes a full-fledged district, these able leaders will have more scopes and opportunities to deliver the goods for the welfare of their people. Gabriel Denwang Wangsu, owner of The Dawn-Lit Post is doing exceedingly well in his chosen field of journalism. Besides, there are many unsung Wancho heroes, who are quietly doing their bit to improve the plight of the ordinary Wanchos.  

We must not forget that all the districts in Arunachal Pradesh started the journey of life together.  But to our great chagrin and utter dismay, other districts have raced past Tirap and Longding districts in matters of development and today the sky is the limit for them.  All key positions in the government jobs are occupied by young people from other districts. But we cannot complaint. The world has no time to listen to the complaints of a defeated person. Life is like a game of football match. When the winning team scores the winning goal the referee blows a long whistle, the players celebrate and the crowd erupts. On the other hand the losing team rushes towards the referee, complaining. However, as I said, the world has absolutely no time to listen to the complaints. The winners take it all. Our Wancho youth must learn to be winners in life without complaining. We need to change our mindset. If others can, we too can do it. The world has become fiercely competitive and there is no place for an average person. Nothing is served on a platter. We must earn everything by dint of our sincere and honest effort. We must do away with the defeatist tendency and laid-back attitude that we have been living with for the last many years. The people of other districts in the state had achieved more success on all fronts because they took education more seriously right from the beginning.  They are also economically more sound and well-established because they work harder. There is absolutely no substitute for hardwork. Apparently the Wanchos have many challenges ahead and many stumbling blocks to surmount to catch up with the other more developed districts.  They need to come out of the cocoon of self-made miseries and look at the big world outside which is full of avenues, opportunities and possibilities.  

The youth are not only the future leaders of tomorrow but also the partners of today.  The onus is on the youth of the newly born Longding district to lead the people to that cherished goal of all-round progress and prosperity. May Longding district grow in leaps and a bound is the sincere prayer and wish in every one’s lips on this auspicious occasion. The blessings of the benevolent Wancho ancestors who first settled down in this sacred land will pour down from their heavenly abode on this historic day when the infant Longding district is born. Like any other new born babies, the Longding district must also be nurtured and taken care of with utmost sincerity and love to enable it grow to create a place of pride in Arunachal Pradesh.  (The writer can be reached at [email protected])



Be a partner in development: CM

Media policy in the pipelines

ITANAGAR, Mar 18:  Chief Minister Nabam Tuki today called upon the state press and media fraternity to be a partner in development initiative of the government.

The Press is the eyes and ears of people and can play a greater role in creating a congenial atmosphere to work in, Tuki said while speaking at the launching ceremony of an English daily newspaper Independent Review, here this evening. He also welcomed constructive criticism from the press.

Tuki informed that the state media policy was on anvil and the draft will be placed in the cabinet and the state assembly soon. The policy would include all aspects of journalism and the welfare of journalists. He also reiterated that the press colony along with Rs. 2 crore, as promised by former Chief Minister late Dorjee Khandu will be materialized soon  and the private land of 15000 sqmt will be acquired for this purpose.

“It is good to see that the 6th daily of the state has been launched today since the first newspaper Echo of Arunachal was launched in 1988”, said Tuki.

The CM lauded the Meen’s Media for launching the newspaper saying that it will not only provide unemployment opportunity but also create healthy competition among the newspapers published from Capital, he said.

While launching the website of this new English Daily,  Director of Higher and Technical Education Dr Joram Begi called upon the media persons to play a impartial role and desist from presenting sensational news which may create disharmony in the society.

Expressing concern over the attack on press and media persons in recent past, Begi, however, said, “sometimes, news are presented with revengeful mode with ulterior motive in the name of investigative journalism.”

The DT&H hoped that new English daily will spread the light of knowledge and serve the state towards its perfection.

Chairman cum managing director of Meen’s Media, Likha Saaya, who is also MLA cum Parliamentary secretary, agriculture, dwelt at length on the vision of his media house.



Human error main cause of forest fire’

Amar Sangno

ITANAGAR, Mar 18:  Over the last few weeks, the Capital Complex witnessed forest fire ravaging its adjacent areas, which left fire service personnel on their toes. It also caused grave concern to the state Govt machinery and Capital dwellers.

According to data made available to this daily, the state capital alone has witnessed 20 to 25 per cent fire accidents during last ten years.

To the utter surprise of everyone, the wildfires were mainly caused by human error and negligence, not by the lightening spark, sources said. The data reveals that the number of calls informing such forest fire in Capital region has gone up to 21 this year till March from previous year’s eight. In many cases, ill intention of capturing forest land by  some  individuals have been reported as one of main causes of  such forest fire.

Pressing alarm button, the department concerned cautioned that the situation may worsen further in days to come if preventive measures are not taken immediately. According to the source, some of the areas like Rajbhawan Heliport and AIR maintenance station, state museum, Gompa and Donyi-Polo Vidya Bhawan school are highly prone to forest fire.

The department has been fighting against forest fire successfully despite limited fire fighting equipments and man power,  said Officer in charge Fire Station Itanagar, S C Mazumdar. Traffic congestions, narrow colony roads, lack of water refilling points have been the main hurdles in fighting fire by the department, he added.

Mazumdar stressed on the need to educate the people about the causes of forest fire and handling fire in forest areas, especially during dry season. He suggested the government to organize mass awareness campaign on forest fire throughout the state.



Three university bills on the cards

ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Moved by the yeoman services rendered by charitable institutions, particularly in the field of education in the state, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki announced to enhance the grant-in-aid for such institutions from next year.

Speaking at a function to mark the Silver Jubilee Year of the Itanagar Catholic Church at Nyokum Lapang today, Tuki saluted the pioneers who ventured into Arunachal Pradesh during her formative years and began imparting education to the masses despite unfathomable hardships.

“The contribution of charitable societies like the Catholic Missionaries in evolution of the modern-day Arunachal is immeasurable. The fruits of hard work by the pioneers are being reaped today. We are grateful to them!” he said.

Heaping praises on the Missionaries for their determination and dedication, Tuki pointed out that it is because of them people of this untouched land learnt the art of living a civilized life. He expressed gratitude to the Catholic Church for running at least three colleges and innumerable schools in far-flung corners of the state. He appealed for establishment of more colleges, especially of medical and technical streams, and assured his Government’s cooperation and help as and where needed. He also appealed for similar contributions in the health services of the state.

Tuki specifically assured to provide stipend to BPL students living in the hostels run by charitable institutions in remote areas. He also informed that his Government is contemplating to introduce at least three University Bills in the next Assembly session to pave way for establishment of Medical, Technical and Open universities in the state.

Highlighting his vision for the next Five Year Plan that begins next April, the Chief Minister said his focus would be on development of Agriculture and Horticulture sectors as well as employment generation avenues.

“My vision is to create at least one lakh employment avenues in the next five-year plan term,” he said. Encouraging people to take up horticulture, Tuki urged against jhumming, which he said is having cascading effect on the forest cover of the state. He cited the recent forest fires around the state capital and expressed concern that at this rate the forest cover would go down to minimal.

“Forests are our future. If we don’t preserve them, we will be left with no option for livelihood,” he opined and pushed the people to work to increase the present state forest cover of 82% to 90%.

Wishing the people of Catholic denomination on completion of 25 years of the Itanagar Catholic Churce, Tuki advised them to religiously follow their faith and spread the message of peace and communal and religious harmony.  He also advised the people not to mix politics with religion.

The Bishop of Itanagar, Dr. Rt. Rev. John Thomas made an official declaration which has come directly from Pope, that the Cathedral of the Itanagar Diocese shall be established at Nyokum Lapang  which is ‘St. Joseph’s Parish, the patron diocese of Itanagar. The church at Itanagar was founded at Nyokum Lapang 25 years back. As a gift for the past 25 years, with a newly erected Parish, the 25 years old church that had given birth to two or three other Parishes, that multiplied the number of faithful or believers, has been now blessed with the institution of the ‘Chair of the Bishop’ of Itanagar which is known as Cathedral. Cathedral is a Latin word which signifies ‘the Chair”, said the Bishop of Itanagar.

  Earlier in the opening day ceremony, Bishop of Itanagar released an Audio Album entitled as Bingjuk-Soriuk vol (II), in honor of the Silver Jubilee of the Church at Nyokum Lapang. Various competitions like folk songs and dances, quiz, skit or drama, etc. were organized in the past two day’s time.

  Mr. Nabam Pehi, chairman of the Managing Committee of the silver Jubilee celebration also spoke on the occasion. Mementos were presented to the pioneering members of the establishment of the Church as well. Prizes were given  to the winners among the five parishes.

Father Jacob Mattathilany, Vicar General of Diocese and Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil and hundreds of believers took part in the celebration.



‘It is time to respect diversity in plurality’

Pradeep Kumar

ITANAGAR, Mar 18: A 30-member team representing the multi-ethnic cultural milieu of Bharat, including some India-loving foreigners, arrived here today to spread the message and reflecting the spirit of Jansatyagraha Samwad Yatra, aimed at covering 350 districts to unite the nation in one thread for one cause.

Led by PV Rajgopalan, Ekta Parishad’s founder, the yatra armed with nine unanswered questions has a milestone to achieve its goals that aims at symbolizing the true plurality of this vast sub-continent.

The true spirit of the people’s movement was reflected in the voice of movement’s year-old volunteer Altai de Saint Albin, a French national: “India is too diverse to explain”; while British national Simon, an official photographer of the Olympics Games, who has captured India kaleidoscopically during last 18-years and has been touring this nation, said:  ”If I’ve to choose one of the many great legacies of India, it would be the spiritual quest India has put at the forefront of life which no country has done so far. 

Oh dear loving Indians….realize what the foreigners have to say about our Motherland! Are you waiting for Mera Nam Jokkar to happen - India to go abroad and return with a Russia-famous tag - to realize your greatness? 

“Arise, awake and walk till the goal is reached”, Swami Vivekananda said, as there could not be a better platform than this movement in the post-independence era to univocally voice – Ham Bharatiya hain, hame ajadi do, harmara adhikar do, sambidhan ko badal do, sambidhan aur sansad ka ham sahi warish hai?

The volunteers to their surprise were greeted by smiling young Arunachalees, who extended hospitality in Hindusthani style to prove the great Arunachalee tradition of Atithi Devo Bhavo, as was told by few European tourists to Chief Minister Nabam Tuki at India Gandhi Park on Feb 22 – “Arunachal is the best in India”. The Arunachalees did not forget either to offer the traditional scarf to each member, our common practice that won the hearts of the guests.  

The year-long yatra began from Kanyakumari on October 2 last year that would culminate at New Delhi after the second phase foot march from Gwalior on October 2 next to reach the national capital with the foot prints of over one lakh people and voices of the timmining millions of the suppressed and suffocated, the dejected and the depressed, the neglected and unnourished, the isolated (Arunachal Pradesh) and illusioned, including those live beyond the Chicken Neck that links the North East with mainland India in a decisive bid to realize the people’s rights and demand justice by establishing a definitive dialogue with the Parliament and the GoI.  

“Come to NE to learn not to teach as the region is true example of harmony rising above caste, creed, religion and region, but its people are ignorant of advertising their greatness and goodliness,” Rajgopalan said without mincing any words to a gathering of local people at Arunachal Pradesh Science Centre here today.

“I’m working on – Message from the NE – a book on how to help the mainland learn from this region. Why do you want a university when the living varsity – NE – is there that reflects true patriotism with ‘Jai Hind’ greetings by its denizens.

If they have no bank accounts that does not mean they are poor. It is time to respect diversity in plurality instead of advocating capitalism that is against the basic principle of the humanity, he said, and cautioned the developmenta-lists against its cascading impacts, if not implemented properly by incorporating the masses’ aspirations. It aims at rearticulating a new development process by replacing present up-bottom theory by bottom-up one to not threaten the very existence of the people.  Hem Bhai from Assam, winner of Rajiv Gandhi Sadbhawana Award, spelt the objectives aimed at freeing the masses from the bondage of their own government, quoting the essence of Gandhian philosophy that India, the land of Geeta and Upanishads, reflects the synthesis of science and spiritual philosophy for the true humanity.

He said the wretched condition of technically advances Japan post-2011 massive earthquake-tsunami, ‘sleeping beauty’ Europe selling its resources to China, USA yet to recover from the Great Recession and regrettably lndia needs to be awakened for it is going the West-way by snatching away the land of the poor, their only means of sustenance, to sell to the MNCs that amounts togulami, for which our freedom fighters fought against the Britishers.

He strongly opposed large dams in this quake-prone zone that could jeopardise the existence of downstream people, in case of an earthquake. 

“Build as many small dams as possible. Let us live in peace and harmony as brethrens forever,” he emotionally appealed.  

DNGC Commerce associate Prof. Dr A K Pandey painted Arunachal as a true example of unity in diversity but ‘saras, sarala aur samrudh’.

Development is the essence of life now, he said, and cautioned the planners to guard against all negative aspects of development to safeguard the rich cultural and traditional heritage of great Arunachalees.

IFACS general secretary Gichak Taza, Men and Environment Society president Dr Otem Pertin, Arunachal Pradesh National Youth Project president Hari Biswas and state Sanskar Bharati president Sukhdev Biswas explained the nitty-gritty of Arunchalee society, its life style, the powerful village councils and the gaon burahs, but resented against the major dams in favour of environment-friendly minor dams to meet the need, not the greed. 

DGM SN Chalia explained how his NABARD was engaged in empowering farmers by transferring the know-how by lab-to-land formula through farmers’ clubs. 

“Bikash binash na ho, logoki bipati na ho,” said Arunachal Seva Sangh general secretary Vishal Nath Rai, citing the example of openness of this Himalayan state, which had no concept of locking house in 80’s. 

The  jansatyagrahis, who would begin their return journey Monday morning,  included, among others, Ramesh Sharma, Sitaram Sonwani, Gokaran Verma, Murli Das Sant, Chandrawati Korva, Harinarayan, Shankar Narayan, Shaji, Davinder Singh, Lakhan Sharma, Santosh, Gyan Shahane, Priti Tiwary, Dhanraj, Tara Saikiya, Nabin Gogoi, Ridip & Amit Kumar. 


GSURGU celebrates pre-Mopin

ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Galo Students’ Union Rajiv Gandhi University (GSURGU) celebrated pre-Mopin festival at University campus on March 16 and 17.

Attending the celebration, former MP Kiren Rijiju stressed on the role of youths in preservation of age-old customs and traditions of the society.

North East Students Organization (NESO) secretary general Gumjum Haider and AAPSU Secretary, Finance, Debia Muj also attended the celebration. Various cultural programmes, including Ponung dance by the students of the university and deliberation on Mopin Mythology were some of the main highlights of the inaugural day of the celebration where in the people from all walks of life took part.


Youth Cong leader meets Jaya Prada

ITANAGAR, Mar 18: State’s youth Congress leader and chairman of Basar Assembly Constituency Overall Development Action Committee   (BACODAC), Marpin Basar recently met Member of Parliament (MP) Jaya Prada and discussed various developmental issues of Basar in particular and West Siang district in general.

During their meeting, Basar proposed establishment of open university, medical college and other projects under agriculture, horticulture and education sector in Basar and other parts of West Siang district by her Jaya Parda Charitable Trust.

Accordingly, she approved the proposal and asked for early submission of all the detailed project report (DPR), according to a release.


ANYA demands action

ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Accusing the Chief Secretary and DGP of their alleged failure to tackle the law and order problems  in the state, All Nyishi Youth Association (ANYA)  today  demanded transfer of the duo within 15 days.

Highlighting the recent criminal activities, including recovery of  dead bodies at Chimpu and Papu Nallah, Rs. 2.50 crore forgery scam, torching of APST buses twice in the capital, burning down of SE office, APPSC office by unknown miscreants and rampant illegal encroachment of govt. quarters, the ANYA in an ultimatum to Parliamentary secretary, home, said that both CS and DGP failed to tackle law  and order situation.

Even after  repeated appeal from various organizations to arrest the culprits involved in different crimes and to tackle the deteriorating law and order problem, the authority failed to pay heed to the grievances, it said. ANYA further threatened to launch democratic movement if its demands is not fulfilled within given time.

Meanwhile, the executive members of All Nyishi Youth Association (ANYA) along with ANYA Papum Pare District Unit visited Denka and Bogoli village under Doimukh Circle recently to take first hand information of the villagers settled near Arunachal-Assam boundary area.

The team appealed to the state government to immediately sanction fund for the renovation of road from Gumto village to Bogoli forest beat camp and construction of link road to Kimin Circle via Bogoli, Denka, Buka and Bello villages.

It further appealed to the government to declare Rajghar Ali as the permanent boundary of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.


SDP on Weaving

ITANAGAR, Mar 18: A NABARD sponsored Skill Development Programme on Handloom Weaving began at Takar Colony, Naharlgun on March 15. Rural Development Society, a local based NGO is the implementing agency.

The SDP will benefit 30 SHG members in honing their weaving skills for enhancing their livelihood.

Inaugurating the programme, Joint Director, Industries S K Dutta urged  the trainees to make best use of the programme and gave information on the availability of weavers’ credit cards for the weavers.  

Toko Okey, Assistant Director, Textlie and Handicrafts RDC, Doimukh said that weavers credit cards would be considered for the trainees who completed the training successfully and on the recommendation of the NGO.

Chagam Dolo, BDO Doimukh advised the trainees to concentrate and give full devotion to acquire required skills so that his office can recommend their names to the banks and other agencies.

B Dutta BM, APRB, Naharlagun, spoke on the importance of bank loan and the procedures for availing it.

Dana Tayum, Dev Assistant, NABARD explained the objectives of SDP and called upon the NGO to implement the programme properly and  help the trainees in preparation of their projects  for setting up units through bank loans.


3 houses gutted

ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Three houses were gutted in a devastating fire at Yomcha town, West Siang district on March 15 at around 9.30 pm. All the belongings of the victims were burnt to ashes in the fire accident, according to Kargu Kardi Students’ Union (KKSU).

Alleging that “the cause of fire accident was due to the electric short-circuit,” KKSU demanded the authority concerned, especially Power department to take responsibility for the incident and compensate the fire victims immediately.

KKSU informed that Yomcha ADC and former chief minister Jarbom Gamlin have contributed few amount to the fire victims.


AWIC National Award for Etalo Mega

ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Etalo Mega, Library  in charge of Bamboosa Library, Tezu has been awarded the Librarian of the Year Award 2012 by the Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children, (AWIC), New Delhi, the pioneers of the Children’s Library movement in India.

The award is in recognition of Mega’s untiring efforts to keep library movement alive in Arunachal Pradesh.

“He is the only awardee this year from outside Delhi. He fully deserves it for keeping library movement alive in Arunachal,” Surekha Panandiker, Convenor of the AWIC Children’s Library Project, said in a telephonic message.

Mega will receive the award on April 2 at a function being held at the Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi.

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

All rights reserved.


Web service for farmers

The Centre is planning a spoken web service that will prove to be a boon for farmers living in far flung areas. The spoken web service is basically an interactive medium for the farming community.

Close to 60 per cent of Indians earn their livelihood through agriculture.

The ministry already provides SMS and an Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) service to farmers, giving them farming information, weather and climatic details to help them meet agricultural targets. The need for spoken web service was felt as it is easier to provide information through an interactive mode.

In a spoken web service people can speak and interact with web information through voice. Farmers can dial a toll-free number and ask questions and get them answered. In some specific cases, questions can be recorded and later answered by experts.

Launched in 2009, the SMS and IVRS system now covers 2.8 million growers.

By 2017 the system is expected to cover 20 million. It has been estimated that the short and timely alerts to farmers about the weather have led to economic benefits worth a whopping Rs 50,000 crore annually.


Let us hope for the best

Dear Editor,

It is surprising to read contradicting news items in print media. There are claims and counter claims appearing in some local dailies regarding dismal power supply at Pasighat. One news item that appeared in some local dailies dated March 15 was about some sections of people threatening to launch democratic movement against the Government if it fails to restore erratic power supply at Pasighat, the oldest town of Arunachal Pradesh while the other news item in the same dailies contained report about some organizations threatening the same Government against proposed dams and hydropower projects in the area. Every one can feel the nerve of the people who are crying for immediate restoration of power supply. But we fail to understand why people hit by power crisis for decades together should go against the dams and hydropower projects coming up at their very doorstep on river Siang. Rather, these projects should be welcomed as they are poised to mitigate the existing highly sorry-state of power supply once for all not only in the particular area but also in the entire region.

We are all aware of the existing sorry state of development in our region and aspire for an efficient, strong and qualitative development network with capacity adequate enough to reach our villages and with flexibility to accommodate the fast growing needs for the next generations. Today, it is the aspiration of every child and every community everywhere to move forward with the fast changing world.

Therefore, creation of developmental infrastructure like dams, canals, bridges, railways, water plants, highways, airports, etc. and their proper utilization is crucial to boost socio-economic development, security and for elimination of regional disparity. So, let us hope for the best that the proposed hydropower projects across the state will be having the potential of bringing about an unprecedented development in our society which will be a cause of envy for others in the days to come. The indigenous people and their children will be benefited most. Our educated unemployed youths will be able to take modern ways of farming and processing enterprises in villages for added prosperity. Defence and internal security in a strategically located state like ours would be much better served. Therefore, there is a need to have second thought on our stance to oppose the hydropower projects being proposed on Siang for speedy development of the area and the region for generations ahead which is the need of the hour. We are blessed by Mother Nature with bounty of potentials to transform the land and people and enhance our living standard at par with the developed people. We should not let these potentials and opportunities go unavailed, lest our posterity blame us as we are blaming our forefathers for not being farsighted during the formative years of our infant State. We should not leave scope to repent tomorrow as we are repenting today for not being farsighted in the past. Now, having experienced enough in the past we need to become farsighted and look for sustainable sources to be self-reliant and self-dependent.

Another important issue that we need to do now is to put enormous pressure collectively on both the State and Central Governments to give top priority to prevent China from diverting water of Siang as reported through media. It should be our endeavour to expedite any developmental activity particularly in view of the unmindful claim of China over our State.

At the same time the State Government and the corporate fraternity involved in the development of hydropower projects should be sincere on their part. They should be as transparent and people-friendly as possible and have a broad strategy reflecting the consensus particularly of the indigenous people. It should always be kept in mind that enlightened common man is the basis of any democratic system, more so in our region where the communities have been used to a transparent self-governing system for ages. The indigenous people should invariably be taken into confidence and decision making first for smooth, uninterrupted and speedy progress of the projects. I have no hesitation in recalling here that the attitude of District administration and the authorities of two consecutive power developers who came up to take up the Lower Siang Hydro Electric Project during the last couple of years was unfortunately lackadaisical and unfriendly even towards the villagers of Bodak, the host village which I belong to. We whole-heartedly welcome any developmental project provided the policy and programs involved are made known to us beforehand. People should be assured with sincerity and full commitment. The sentiments and genuine voices of the indigenous people regarding development, welfare measures and security aspects concerning the people living upstream and down stream, probable social impact, compensation and rehabilitation packages need to be given focused attention and implemented in true spirit. Proper dissemination of these facts which are prerequisites can neutralize and transform the mindset of the people and substantially shorten the increasing distance. Every effort should be made with state-of-the-art technology to ensure that probable social impacts are taken care of an and true development reaches up to the doorsteps of the rural community.


Bapir Megu

Camp: Itanagar



Help us to achieve our goal

Dear Editor,

It is known to all that opium has hit some parts of Arunachal Pradesh and some people get addicted to it only to destroy their valuable life.

Here I would like to give focus on Ozakho village under Longding district, where people were badly addicted to Opium. Seeing this critical situation of Ozakho village, the All Ozakho Students Union (AOSU) conducted opium Awareness campaign in the village last year and the campaign brought results as many people stopped smoking of opium. Again the Union conducted opium awareness campaign this year for the second time and maximum number of people stopped opium smoking.

Further, the Union succeeded to check and control selling and buying of foreign liquor inside the village as it created law and order problem.

In addition to these, the AOSU in a meeting with the Panchayat leaders, Public leaders,  youths,  Chief of Ozakho village, GBs, religious leaders  and general people had passed resolution stating that if anybody is found selling opium  and  wine and smoking opium inside the village, the person will be imposed fine of Rs. 5,000 and handed over to the law enforcing authority for necessary action.

We request the State Government to extend helping hand to any organization which is  undertaking movement against drug abuse or opium smoking  for the better tomorrow.

The Union would also like to appeal the state Govt to send a research team to carry out a study on a  natural stone stair at Ozakho village which is believed to be thousand years old. If it is preserved and protected, Ozakho village will become one the places of tourist interest in the state.


Honlem Khangham,

President, All Ozakho Students' Union (AOSU)




Please, pay a personal visit

Dear Editor,

This has reference to two letters regarding the condition of Hapoli-Ziro BRO road. ( March 10 and 17). On my private visit to Ziro recently, I happened to come across some workers maintaining/carpeting BRO road from Pai Gate (Hapoli) to Old Ziro and was surprised to see the low quality of works being executed. It was like cosmetic carpeting, putting tiny layer of coal tar. Initially I thought that the work must have been executed by one of the governmental agencies. Potholes had developed in the half-carpeted road. I could not believe when the Commander 756 BRTF (GREF) stated that “potholes developed due to leaking water pipeline underneath the road”. I saw no water pipes underneath.

I would appeal Dwivedi to pay a personal visit to Ziro for first hand information and ensure good quality of works to gain public sympathy and support, as always. BRO is a respectable organization with nationalistic ideals, for whom ‘sky is the limit.’

Looking at the quality of the present work, I only hope that rumours about BRO officials selling cement/coal tar in ‘close market’ are not true.


Dr. Nan Bath

Rajiv Gandhi University.





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