March  24


News Impact


Bamboo flowering further distress impoverished Kurung Kumey

Gandhi Darang

ITANAGAR, Mar 23: Kurung Kumey district has been witnessing gregarious bamboo flowering since 2010 affecting life of the people and environment of the area.

The flowering has affected most of the areas of the district including Parsi Parlo, Damin, Sarli, Koloriang and some parts of Chayangtajo sub-division under East Kameng district.

Bamboos like Phyllostachys manii (Tabiu), Dendrocalsmus hamiltonii (Hate), Schizostachyum capitatum (Tolum), Chimonobambusa callosa (Tahu), Yushiania (Yal-Yana) and Neomicrocalamus are the species found flowering affecting the local population in house construction, consumption and making handicraft items.   

According to survey and field study conducted by State Forest Research Institute (SFRI) headed by scientist RK Taj on November 2010, more than 4000 human population dependent on Jhum cultivation have abandoned their agriculture fields since 2009 due to rat menace triggered by the bamboo flowering.

When contacted, Taj informed that the rodent menace may continue for another 2-3 years which may cause severe shortage of food grains in the entire district and there will be acute shortage of construction materials for another 5-6 years.

“Once gregarious flowering takes place the life of bamboos are completed and due to drying up of all bamboos there is every possibility of forest fire, if precautionary measures are not taken,” Taj asserted.

The report also revealed that rodent menace is likely to continue till next two years due to new bamboo flowering, including in Palin and Koloriang areas. The district is likely to face soil erosion and landslide in coming year or two due to massive loss of soil binding plant populations in steep slope areas, particularly in Kumey river belt and there is also chances of outbreak of water borne diseases in the area due to soil erosion and landslide resulting in water pollution and rise in insect pests population. During a visit to Tali recently by this correspondent, Pip-Sorang CO Nangram Pingkap informed that  heavy damage caused to bamboos has compelled people of the area to purchase edible bamboo products in high rate from capital complex for consumption.

“The massive flowerings have also discouraged the local people in farming activities because of high growth in rodent’s population and snake,” he revealed.

The concern departments need to take various steps for the affected people by conducting training and awareness programmes and adopting rodent control technology--both mechanical and conventional, erosion control methods and implementation of watershed programmes where ever possible.

Providing sufficient food items and medicines to the affected areas covering all inaccessible villages and immediate crop damage relief to the affected farmers would help them for sustainability.

The authority also needs to implement bamboo regeneration/plantation programmes by providing quality planting materials to the interested and needy villagers through concerned VFMCs and cash and cash crop seedlings to the farmers.



Food scarcity in East Kameng looms large

Amar Sangno

ITANAGAR, Mar 23: The ghost of past food scarcity could be turning its head again to torment East Kameng, like it did decade ago after the old bridge was swept away by turbulent river Bichom way back in June 1989, which left many officials and common people starving and forced the government to press air sortie. This thought is now haunting every octogenarian mind at Seppa and elsewhere in the district, following the de-launching of ailing Bana Bailey Bridge over River Bichom on March 16 last by the state PWD highway division along with GRSE Kolkata.

The concern for food shortage during monsoon season among the people is growing wider as it is obvious that the temporary bridge built by BRTF recently as an alternate subway, would no longer exist, and the lifeline of the district headquarters would be snapped and the food supply that comes from Assam via Bhalukpong will be halted.

The reason is quite perceptible, since the people know that monsoon is on its way to embrace the landlocked state after May and every big and small rivers and stream would roar up to turn turbulent.

However after sensing the precarious situation  Deputy Commissioner Tope Bam  has taken up a precautionary measures and gearing up to face the situation by directing the district food and civil supply officers and head of the department including PR leaders and  common people to store   food grains particularly rice as much as they can. Speaking to this daily, the  DC said, “There is no need to press the panic button on food grain shortage”.

He added that Extra Assistant Commissioner judicial J. Pertin has been given charge to manage the situation and he is constantly monitoring the situation to ensure availability of food grains.  Further, Bam informed that he is constantly pressurizing the executing agency to ensure early completion of the bridge.

Executive Engineer Naharlagun Highway Division cum in-charge of Bana Bridge Er. Khoda Gyati also hoped that the project will be completed soon and there is no need to panic. He further added that the department will be constantly monitoring the Sagalee-Seppa road as an alternate route in case the project is not completed on time.



Borang to be laid to rest on Saturday, CM, MPs pay homage

PASIGHAT, Mar 23: The mortal remains of former Minister Kabang Borang will be laid to rest on Saturday at Pasighat. Borang died on Wednesday in Chennai after a prolonged illness.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki accompanied by Education Minister Bosiram Siram, Parliamentary Secretaries (UD) Padi Richo, Nido Pavitra (H & FW) and JK Panggeng (Sc & Tech), OSD to CM Bamang Tago, MPs Ninong Ering, Takam Sanjoy, Mukut Mithi and Rani Noroh from Assam paid floral tributes to mortal remains of  Borang at his residence at Pasighat.

While paying last respect to Borang, Tuki stated that he was an exceptional human being, a seasoned politician and a great statesman.

The people of Pasighat and nearby areas, relatives, well wishers thronged his residence today and paid their last respect to late Borang. They also prayed to almighty to bestow courage and strength to the bereaved family members to bear the loss.

The all business establishment, shops under Pasighat Market Association downed their shutter today as a mark of respect to Late Borang. DIPRO

Former MLA Nani Ribia today condoled the death of Borang.

“Borang was the leader of masses, who has enjoyed popularity throughout his life. He was a man of all walks of life. and a true pioneer of Arunachal's development in all fields, Ribia said and prayed for his eternal peace.



Is coal scandal waiting in Arunachal’s wings?


ITANAGAR, Mar 23: When an alleged coal scandal rocked the nation today prompting the Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, to give clarification, the possibility of such a scam in Arunachal Pradesh cannot be ruled out.

Recently, the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad (ABAVP) had alleged both the Arunachal Pradesh Mineral Development and Trading Corporation (APMDTC) and a Tinsukia-based National Mining Company Private Limited (NMCL) of malpractices and manipulation.

In a press release, ABAVP joint secretary Talo Mugli had sought the intervention of GoAP in following proper tendering process before awarding mining contract and signing marketing deeds, as published in the local dailies.

The APMDTC authorities had awarded the contract by manipulation with connivance of the then ministry concerned and officials, Mugli had claimed, further accusing the corporation of manipulating the expiry date of the contract on 4th April 2006 after five years term to extend it further.

Mugli, who claims to have documents with him, alleged “There has been maneuvering with the coal prices of different grades. The grade of coal and rates for sale of coal as per the specific grade is fixed by the APM DTC which are: Grade A-@Rs1470, Grade B @Rs1200 & Grade C-@Rs 1100 and this includes the extraction charges as well as commission is  @Rs 150/tonne.

“However, the NMCL is marketing and selling the aforesaid coal by way railways and road transport channel at a rate of about Rs 4000 to Rs 8000 per tonne for different grades of coal. The NMCL has been showing the different grades of coal with the connivance of the APMDTC and as such there is manipulation with the grading of coal, with the sole purpose of making higher profits”.

The Parliament today erupted in hoots and jeers after a draft report by GoI’s auditors estimated the national treasury lost Rs 10,670 billion by selling coalfields to private excavation companies.

The report, leaked to a national daily, said the primary beneficiaries were about 100 private and state companies that were handed contracts for 155 coalfields between 2004 and 2009 without going through a competitive bidding process. The report said that Rs 10,670 billion was a conservative estimate given that it relied on prices for low-grade rather than medium-grade coal.

Opposition leaders called the latest revelation the ''mother of all scams'', accusing the government of looting the country.

India, world's third-largest coal producer after China and the US, has recorded a series of mining scandals. In August, the top elected official in Karnataka state resigned after being implicated in a mining scandal that a watchdog said involved about $380 million. Three months later, a report claimed that almost 50% of the iron ore exported from Goa state was illegally mined.

India is hungry for energy to fuel its fast-growing economy, and coal accounts for 70% of the mix. That percentage is expected to grow, given limitations on the further development of power from nuclear reactors and renewable sources. Environmentalists, however, argue that increased production is ecologically unsustainable.

If ‘Coal deals scandal robs India of billions’, will it rob Arunachal off in millions - is a million dollar question, who would reply?

In addition, who would reply how many metric tonnes of the black diamond have been extracted so far from the Namchik coal field, Changlang?  And the royalty/revenue it generated for the state exchequer? Some questions remain unanswered which should be answered in the larger public interest. (With agency inputs)  



PPA opposes private open varsity in Arunachal

ITANAGAR, Mar 23: The People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA) opposed the decision of the State Cabinet for establishment of Private and Open Universities in the State.

“It is very unfortunate and against the interest of the future generation. The establishment of the Private and Private Open Universities will not only be detrimental to the education scenario but it will damage the entire future generations of the State,” the party said in a release.

It questioned how the government will ensure quality of education through Private and Open Universities which will be run by the corporate. The Corporate that runs such Universities can go to any extent to earn profit, as it would be their main aims,” the party claimed.

The establishment of the Private and Open Universities is a kind of giving license to the Corporate to sell the marksheets and certificates without education, it said.

“Education and economic problems cannot be solved by mere issuance of degree certificates but only by quality education,” PPA said and feared that such Universities will be producing more frustrated youth than the economic and educational panacea for the state.

PPA appealed to the Government and the Members of the Legislative Assembly to rethink the proposal for establishment of Private and Open Universities for the sake of the future generation.

The Party demanded that the Government should call a consultative meeting of all Political Parties, Students’ Organisations and NGOs for proper debate and discussion on such crucial issues.

Meanwhile, the party welcomed the decision of the Government to establish State University in Pasighat.   



GENEX Group ambulance service in East Siang


PASIGHAT, Mar 23: GENEX Group, a Kolkata based finance company, which has established its branch at Pasighat two years ago, has introduced ambulance service for the people of Pasighat.

Chief Managing Director of GENEX, Tapan Dutta formally opened the Ambulance service in presence East Siang Deputy Commissioner Talem Tapok and other dignitaries during its regional executive meet held at Pasighat Solung ground on March 21.

Tapok appreciated the company’s efforts for uplifting the health and socio-economic condition of people of the region besides creating of employment opportunities for the local youths through its extension project like supplying of cheap electronic items and Ayurvedic Medicine.

Eminent citizens including Bogong Banggo ZPM Okom Yosung, Pasighat Market Association president Onyok Tamuk and others attended the function.

The local people have requested the company chief functionary to supply Solar Lamps, mobile hand-set and other machinery items at subsidized rate, for the welfare of the local people.



Workshop on Intellectual Property Rights

Nirjuli, Mar 23 : Continuing Education Programme Cell, NERIST in collaboration with MHRD IPR Chair, Tezpur University organized a one day workshop on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) at NERIST today.

Dr. C L Sharma, Programme coordinator of this workshop spoke on the importance and significance of IPR in today’s context.

Prof. P.R. Alapati, Director, NERIST in his inaugural speech highlighted on the values and benefits of IPR in the field of teaching and research. He mentioned that copyright, a part of IPRs should be taken seriously by researchers to avoid any incidents of plagiarism.

Dr. Suchitra Goswami from Tezpur University gave a brief introduction about the IPR and a significant contribution of Prof. R. Saha in the field of IPR.

Prof. R. Saha, MHRD IPR Chair resource person spoke on history of IPR, fundamentals and significance of patents, copyrights, trademarks, design, protection of plant variety, GI, trade secrets etc. He also spoke on how and where to apply for IPRs. He mentioned about various dos and don’ts an applicant should consider before applying for patent. He also discussed on various rights available to copy right holders.

Prof. M.L. Khan, NERIST invited the attention of scientific societies of involving local communities and their knowledge’s for generating the depository of IPR which they store since time immemorial.

Obang Tayeng, Deputy Director, Department of Information and Public Relations spoke on the organizational setup and activities undertaken by this department since its inception.

A large number of participants, including academicians, Scientists of state departments, researchers, managers and students of various institutes in the state attended the programme.

Earlier, the programme started by observing two minutes silence for the peace of departed soul of late Kabang Borang former Minister for Forest and Environment, who died on March 21.



Govt clarifies on transfer demand

ITANAGAR, Mar 23: The State Government has taken exception to the repeated demands, coming through the media, by certain organizations for transfer of the present Chief Secretary and Director General of Police (DGP). Reportedly, the organizations have alleged the two top officers of the state government of failing to deal efficiently with the law and order situation in the state.

In a statement today, Political Secretary to CM, Bamang Tago said that it was the prerogative of the government to effect any transfer and posting of its officials.  “The decision on transfer of the CS and DGP is the sole jurisdiction of the Central Government. Transfer and posting follow certain stipulated guidelines, which the government has to follow in taking any such decision. It just can’t be affected on demand of certain organizations,” he said.

The Political Secretary to CM  further said  that the government is aware of the law and order situation in the state, which in fact has improved considerably in the last couple of months, and has been doing all possible in this regard.

He appealed the said organizations to raise any genuine issue with the government, which is always ready to listen and act instead of serving ‘ultimatums’ and ‘threats’ in the name of ‘democratic agitations’.

“There are many issues to deal with. We can do so by helping the government through constructive criticism,” the Political Secretary said.

He further added that community based organizations are supposed to raise issues pertaining to the community it represents. The matters regarding governance of the state is up to the State Government to deal and decide, he added.

Replace transformer

ITANAGAR, Mar 23: All Sagalee Students’ Union appealed to the state government and the power department to immediately replace the damaged transformer located at BSNL exchange Sagalee.

The union alleged that the BSNL service is not working properly in Sagalee area due to bad transformer and affecting the landline telephone facility at Sagalee since last year.


AEKSU seeks CBI inquiry on WTP

ITANAGAR, Mar 23:  All East Kameng Students Union (AEKSU) today denounced the “wrong statement” on water treatment plant (WTP) reportedly given by district PHED Executive Engineer, in  “East  Kameng  Review”, a bi-annual magazine,  Dtd. February 20,  2011.

According to the Union, then PHED Executive Engineer had stated that WTP project with  capacity of  2.046 MLD started in 2007 and  had almost been completed  but yet to be formally commissioned.  He further said “plant is now providing drinking water to entire inhabitants of old Seppa.”

On the contrary, the Union claimed that there is no completed water treatment plant. Condemning the statement, the union further demanded CBI enquiry against Rs 9.18 crore ambitious water treatment project and also urged the district administration to take stern action against erring officer within 15 days, or else, it threatens to launch agitation.


Training on scientific vegetable cultivation and fish farming

TAWANG, Mar 23: Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Tawang conducted training on scientific vegetable cultivation and fish farming for farmers at Gyankhar village of Tawang district.

Altogether, 25 farmers attended the training programme.

Farmers scientist interaction was also organized where in the farmers got their doubts clarified.

N K Pandey, SMS (Agril Ext.) advised the farmers to adopt scientific methods in vegetable cultivation. He delivered a lecture on nursery management of vegetable crops and described the scientific methodology for nursery rising.


RSS ABPS held at Nagpur

ITANAGAR, Mar 23:  A three days annual conclave of the Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha, apex policy making body of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was held at Nagpur, Maharashtra on March 16-18.   A   team of  Arunachal Pradesh Pratinidhi Sabha  including Nido Sakter, Prant Karyabah and Talem Mize, Sah Prant Karyabah and Pradeep Joshi, Prant Pracharak participated in the  three day event.

Highlighting the activities of RSS and its frontal wings, the Pratinidhi Sabha adopted two point resolutions to uphold the unity and integrity of the society and demanding reconsideration of draft water policy-2012.


Mopin festival preparations underway


PASIGHAT, Mar 23: Preparations for Mopin festival celebration is underway at Pasighat.

The festival is celebrated every year by Galo community on April 5, for bumper harvest and well being of the people of the community.

Besides rituals, exhibition of art and cultures would be main attraction of the day-long programme.

Meanwhile, General Mopin Festival Celebration Committee (GMFCC), Pasighat expressed hope that, like the past years, the festival would be observed with much enthusiasm and fanfare.


Prevent corrupt practices: Union

ITANAGAR, Mar 23: Alleging misuse of various centrally sponsored fund meant for differently abled persons by ‘some group’, the All Nyishi Youth Association Capital Complex Unit (ANYACCU) urged the state Govt. to take immediate steps to prevent such corrupt practices so that differently abled persons can get benefit from such welfare schemes and live with dignity without any discrimination.

It claimed that some corrupt groups are misusing such funds depriving the beneficiaries from their dues.

The association also drew the attention of the government towards various problems faced by the widows, school going children. It claimed the mid-day meal is not being provided to student in various schools properly and urged the authority to look into the matter.


Monitoring meet on PMEGP

ITANAGAR, Mar 23: The state level monitoring committee meeting on Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP) was held here yesterday.

Chairing the meeting, Taki Taba, Chairman, Arunachal Pradesh Khadi and Village Industries Board suggested the bankers to release the project cost to the beneficiaries in single installment since release of fund in two-three installments hampers the project implementation.

A.P. Chobin, Incharge, State office, KVIC, Arunachal Pradesh briefed about the present status/progreess of the PMEGP during the year 2011-12.

R. Ronya, Director, Industries urged all the bankers to sanction and disburse the amount at earliest possible. He also suggested KVIC to release the margin money in time for successful implementation of project.

Lead District Manager gave the details of margin money pending in the bank due to non receipt of the same from KVIC, Mumbai.

The members also decided to constitute  a sub committee comprising officers from industries, KVIC, KVIB and bankers for joint inspection of PMEGP unit.

The meeting was attended by all the bankers, ADI, CEO, APKVIB.


Martyrs Day

ITANAGAR, Mar 23: All India Quami Ekta Committee celebrated Martyrs Day at Arunachal Community College today.

The members of the committee along with students of the college observed two minute silence as a mark of respect to Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on the occasion.

World TB Day today

ITANAGAR, Mar 23: District Health Society (RNTCP) appealed to the citizens to work together to fight against TB and eliminate the disease.

“Let us all pledge on “World TB Day” to eliminate TB from Arunachal and from India,” the DHS (RNTCP) said in a release.

World TB Day is observed every year in whole world on March 24. This year’s theme is “Stop TB in my life time, we want zero TB deaths”.  Health and Family Welfare Minister Atum Welly would flag off a TB awareness rally starting from Mithun Gate, A-sector to state Hospital Naharlagun to mark  the World TB Day. This will be followed by a seminar/symposium at state hospital seminar hall.  The day-long programme will also include Radio talk and open discussion in Doordarshan on TB.


Artist creates niche for Arunachal

ITANAGAR, Mar 23: An Arunachal buddy Raja Deori has done it again. A shy youth only the other day with a dream to achieve something big through his love for and rigorous pursuit of visual art, Raja is now a name in the art circle of the national capital of India. He is indeed an example of how anyone even without any worthwhile resource but with a little creative spark and dogged and sustained labour can be an achiever in his or her chosen field.  It is not said for nothing: Genius is one per cent inspiration plus ninety nine per cent perspiration!

With his recent exhibition in the gallery of the prestigious All India Fine Art and Craft Society (AIFACS), New Delhi,  Raja has created an art-niche for himself and also for Arunachal Pradesh. Through the display of 15 large canvases portraying superb texture-treatment and creative imagination in mixed media, Raja has earned rare accolades from the streams of visitors thronging the gallery from morning until evening for four consecutive days beginning March 21 last.

The group show put up by Ajanta Kala Society, an Art NGO in Delhi was inaugurated by the Rajya Sabha TV executive editor Urmilesh as the chief guest along with the guest of honor, Dilip Mandal, executive editor, India Today.


Gorsam Kora

TAWANG, Mar 23: The Gorsam Kora Festival was celebrated with great enthusiasm by the locals of Tawang region at Gorsam Chorten near Zimithang area.

This year Kora festival witnessed more than 15,000 devotees, who came from various parts of the country as well as from neighboring countries of Bhutan and Nepal.

The festival was celebrated for a week from March 16 in which both Lamas and Buddhist devotees visited the Chorten.

The first three days were devoted exclusively for the conduct of prayers by more than 70 Lamas, who came from Tawang, Bomdila, Jung and Zimithang areas.

T.G. Rimpoche from Bomdila and Tulku Rimpoche Abbot, Tawang monastery gave sermons to the devotees and offered prayers at the Chorten.

The Gorsam Mela became more colourful with the installation of more than 50 stalls of various kinds, including the corners for various games like Archery etc. Shopkeepers came all the way from Bhutan and Nepal. The locals conducted various cultural programmes in their traditional attire, especially during the evening hours of the last three days of the festival.

Local administrative officials including DC Tawang, ADC Lumla, Circle Officer and the local MLA Jambey Tashi including Army Commanding Officer visited the Chorten during last two days of the festival.

An absolute bonhomie was witnessed between locals and Army officials as Army extended whole hearted support by looking after the logistics requirement during the festival. DIPRO


Renovate Kimin-Pohumara road: Union

ITANAGAR, Mar 23:  All Kimin Students Union today urged  MP Takam Sanjoy to impress upon the BRTF for renovation of  road between Kimin and Pohumara at the earliest.

The Kimin-Pohumara road is still laying in a dilapidated condition, even though  it  is connecting seven districts of Arunachal Pradesh and playing a important role in socio-economic development of  local people,  the union lamented. The Union also appealed to the BRTF chief engineer to visit the road personally and start renovation work immediately.

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Mere assurances does not work

Dear Editor,

I am an avid and a regular reader of your esteemed daily. Before proceeding further let me also clarify that am not against any particular person or party, as I strongly feel that before proceeding with anything in AP, it is wise to clarify ones stand, lest you face any kind of 'jhamelaas'.

Am not an SSA teacher or a regular teacher, but of course I do have few relatives/friends of mine who are serving as SSA teacher at remote places. And I have been seeing their plights for their share of dues for quite some time. It is really heartening to see their plight again and again. But so far I don’t see any credible or amicable outcome of the same.

My heart really goes with them as I can feel how tough it is to be sans money on hand. What are the concerned dept. and the People's First Govt. doing? Not only I, but everyone  can see that apart from mere word assurance nothing concrete is being done. From some reliable sources I heard that one month’s salary was released. But just releasing one month’s salary does not justify the stand of the Govt. on the issue. They are not asking for a loan or some kind of favour, but are asking for what they deserve. Hence, my only humble request to all concerned is to do the needful before the knowledge imparting people forget the good side of the education and take law into their hands.


T  Tada

SVR, Assam.



Are we being befooled by the Govt?

Dear Editor,

I would like to know from the state government, especially the education minister the reason behind delay in releasing SSA teachers’ salary.   Teachers are performing their duty with sincerity and devotion with a hope of receiving their salary at the earliest, but, instead of salary, they are receiving only assurance. Is not the Govt befooling the SSA teachers who are serving in remote and inaccessible area with utmost devotion without salary for last  three-four months ?

Many a times the people in power called upon the teachers to perform their duty with sincerity while citing the enhanced salary of SSA teachers. But they have no time to enquire about how the teachers are running their family without salary. Here, I would like to thank those organizations who expressed concern at the plight of the SSA teachers.

I sincerely appeal the state Govt, especially the education department keep your words and release the SSA teachers’ salary and the arrears at the earliest.


Gichik Tanang

Pado, Kurung Kumey



Respect the ethnic tribe

Dear Editor,

This is in reference to the news item “Namdapha Tiger Reserve under threat”(  March 17).  It is very unfortunate that Namdapha is becoming a “hub of poachers”. The officials have rightly referred those people who fired to the forest personnel as anti-national.

If those culprits are Yobin people, I personally condemn them. Stringent action must be taken against such criminals. But at the same time, I did not read in the news that it was the Yobin who fired guns, destroyed properties of Aaranyak (Guwahati-based NGO). So I question how true the allegation is. I would be more comfortable if evidence were furnished well before such serious allegations are made. It’s tempting to think that there is an assumption that as we live in Vijoynagar we are singled out for firing guns and destroying others’ property.

I am also surprised that only the Chakma people are accused for cutting the timber in the park. What about other tribes in Miao sub-division? Why are there no reports about them? Are they completely innocent?

The media should keep in mind that Yobin people are just 3,000 in number. And very few are living in the park for survival. So I feel funny when we are projected as if we might destroy the whole park single-handedly. Please be considerate on how our story is told. An ethnic tribe is sacred and must be respected and regarded, regardless of its population and strength.


Liahey Ngwazah




Let’s just hope for the best

Dear Editor,

Recently the government has celebrated the completion of the silver jubilee year of the creation of our state. Gala events were organized with Bollywood stars during the celebrations and the so called Arunachal festival was so much over-publicized and overhyped, where the stalls were nothing less than extortion camps. The festival was nothing more than the celebration of Bollywood, power, money and liquor (all shapes, sizes and colours). The celebrations have been too elite and power centric.  

I wonder, how many of us have ever pondered as to what the festival was meant for. The most logical answer that pops up to such a question would be that, our state has completed 25 years of the statehood. I agree that we have already completed 25 years of our statehood, but I keep on thinking, “What were the celebrations for? What have we achieved in these 25 years that calls for and entitles us to celebrate in such a manner?  

In fact, we have achieved nothing in the last 25 years. There might have been erection of some new fancy buildings and structures, especially by individuals, but that alone wouldn’t account for the activities and existence of the state for 25 long years. There would hardly be any probable excuse to suffice the answers required to explain the state of affairs in Arunachal. The state since its birth has witnessed the activities of the wily politicians, indelible indulgence of people from every section of society towards the accumulation of wealth ( as in black money).

The Chakma issue has always been a sensitive issue dating back to decades, but still without any solution.  Now, we are faced with a situation, where the Chakma refugees dictate vast stretches of land in the district of Changlang, Hollongi and the adjacent areas in Papumpare, Lohit etc. Reports are that in the district of Changlang, vast areas of forest have already been cleared by the Chakmas and they are residing there in thousands and as such there is a serious apprehension that someday these refugees will surely outnumber the local indigenous people and the govt. will only be a mute spectator to it.

The presence of insurgents in Tirap and Changlang and the formation of NPF in our state must cause serious concerns, as the presence of this political wing from Nagaland would bolster the designs of the underground elements in taking control of Tirap and Changlang and may be in the state capital.

Lohit, Changlang and Anjaw districts are plagued with the abundance of narcotics and psychotropic substances, especially, the kani and ganja, which is tearing away the youths of these places. The usage of these substances has been for time immemorial, but what have been done on the part of the Govt. to regulate and counter these substances. The whole state is reeling under the effect of these substances and the Govt. is a mute spectator.

Apart from these all, many places in our state are still inaccessible by road or any other means. There are places where a kg of salt goes up to Rs. 150. The funds for the connectivity of these places have already been gobbled up by the public servants and thereby the public have been left in want of the basic amenities in life and deprived of their right to live a respectful and comfortable life.

The state has also been witness to the several atrocities allegedly committed by its men in uniform. Many cases do go unreported, but there have been some instances where, the wrong act of the men in uniform had hogged the limelight for many days. The glaring examples of the misuse of their official power and position has been the Roing assault case in the year 2010, the Naharlagun case, where the police car mowed down an innocent man in the year 2010, assault on persons in Seppa by IRBn for not wearing helmet in the year 2010, and the most shameful of the acts by the men in uniform was Daporijo MMS scandal, which surfaced only in 2011. The law and order all over the state is in shambles. The media houses have always been a soft target for the people of all walks, there has been brutal attack on advocates and recently dead bodies have been found in the capital. The police department does not have enough manpower and the fire brigade services are the worst of its kinds. Yet, we are happy to celebrate, when we hear the note that our state has completed 25 years of existence as a state.

The state as a whole and the capital in particular looks more like a garbage dumping site and the already congested roads due to heavy traffic are further cramped due to the presence of all kinds of animals, which are serious threat to the life of the persons. The education sector has also been a dismay, compared to the huge sanctions made by the Centre, with the extent that there are not even school buildings at many places, albeit the school is functioning very smoothly in papers.  

The worst of the ironies is that the silver jubilee year, i.e. 2011-2012 was also the year of bandhs. The year 2011 has been very tumultuous, after the death of the Late CM Dorjee Khandu. There were countless bandh calls by countless organizations. The silver jubilee year cost the state crores of rupees and yet we celebrate.

The 25 years of Arunachal might have also brought with it rays of hope and reasons to smile, but I believe those occasions have been the rarest of rare cases, with the final computation leaning heavily on all the bad patches. The scale for our state has always been lopsided and will continue to remain so for at least many more years to come. The shores are still a distant dream and we have seriously underachieved what we were supposed to in the last 25 years. But, of late, there has been silver lining upon the dark clouds as the people’s perspectives, even though slowly, but gradually, it is changing. Hopefully, the shift would be towards the better and smoother end of the yardstick. But, till then, we have to settle with the crumbs that the govt. throws our way. Even though, I may sound a bit too optimistic, but let’s just hope, that we will be able to celebrate the golden jubilee of our state, not merely for the numbers but for all the milestones we reach and achievements we make in the next 25 years.


Duge Soki,






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No real change in education sector

The Planning Allocations Institutions Studies and Accountability ( PAISA) report on rural schools  indicated a disturbing trend of negative learning graph despite increased outlays in elementary education.

India has an estimated 400 million children under the age of 18. About 240 million of these are between the ages of six and 14. Despite the fact that about 95 per cent of these children are enrolled in primary school, only 45 per cent manage to finish their elementary education.

PAISA has been tracking the allocations and expenditures of school grants in Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Government of India’s primary vehicle for implementing the Right to Education Act (RTE), since 2009. The present study covered 14,283 schools across rural India and found that, while the SSA budget more than doubled between 2009-10 and 2011-12 (up from Rs 26,169 crore to Rs 55,746 crore), the increased funding did not translate into improved learning outcomes.    

 The report elaborates that while the infrastructure budget under SSA increased by 137 per cent between 2009-10 and 2011-12, concerns related to classrooms, drinking water facilities, kitchen for mid-day meal schemes, playground, boundary wall etc continue to be worrisome. There still exists 46 per cent shortfall in terms of ‘complete boundary wall’ and 16 per cent short fall in ‘drinking water’ provisions. 50 per cent schools still report a shortfall in achieving the requisite pupil teacher ratio (30). One also needs to bear in mind that this is despite the fact that the quantum of grants received by the schools improved from 55 per cent in 2008-09 to 70 per cent in 2010-11.

To achieve MDG 2 (to achieve universal primary education), it is indeed time for India to step up the plate or ship out. The increased budgetary allocation to SSA must focus not only at the eight million children who are still out of school but also ensuring retention and adequate learning levels of those who are already enrolled.