ITANAGAR, June 12 - Arunachal Chief Minister Pema Khandu today stressed on the need for a comprehensive development plan for the insurgency-infested Tirap, Changlang and Longding (TCL) districts to increase entrepreneurship and employability so that people of these eastern Arunachal districts do not deviate from mainstream.
Such efforts will go a long way in addressing the acute poverty and lack of employment in these districts, said the Chief Minister while participating in the Indo-Myanmar border issues review meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, at Aizwal.
Khandu said that a significant portion of population are also engaged in illegal production and trade of opium, which has to be tackled aggressively using two pronged strategy of de-addiction centres and skill development centres.
Since the terrain of TCL region is good for cash crops, Spices Board of India and Krishi Vigyan Kendra may be advised to open their offices in these three districts, the Chief Minister suggested.
He informed that the State Government has prepared a proposal of around Rs 985 crore as a fresh special package for TCL districts and requested the Union Home Ministry to consider it favourably.
The Chief Minister also suggested to take adequate steps to prevent migration from the border areas and sought Central assistance for rapid economic development of the areas along the Indo-Myanmar border.
He emphasised that trade between the two countries need to be encouraged and more border haats be opened for the purpose. He apprised the Home Minister about a MoU signed in 2012 between India and Myanmar for establishment of Border Haats along the Indo-Myanmar border to facilitate border trade, which included one at Nampong (Pangsau Pass).
Union Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju and Arunachal Deputy CM Chowna Mein also spoke on the occasion. The Chief Ministers of Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram attended the meeting.