ITANAGAR, Feb 20 � Prime Minister Narendra Modi today dedicated to the nation the 21.75-km long Harmuti-Naharlagun rail line and flagged off the Naharlagun-Delhi AC Express and the Inter-City Express between Naharlagun and Guwahati, thereby bringing the strategically located border State of Arunachal Pradesh to the country�s railway map.
Modi also inaugurated the Itanagar Water Supply Scheme and laid the foundation stone of a 132KV transmission line before declaring the �Festival of Arunachal� open � to the cheers from a huge gathering. He also released a souvenir to mark the 29th Statehood Day of Arunachal Pradesh.
Pinpointing poor connectivity as the main obstacle for underdevelopment in the North East, the Prime Minister, in his address, said Arunachal Pradesh is getting both gati (momentum) and urja (energy) today and these projects would contribute to improving connectivity.
Stating that a rail network is the backbone of development, Modi exuded hopes that the railways will speed up Arunachal Pradesh�s development. �With the rail connectivity, I am sure tourism will increase and people will see the beauty of this land.�
Pointing out that poverty eradication cannot happen on the basis of mere slogans, he said that the projects being launched today would boost connectivity and provide electricity, which would in turn become strong weapons in the fight against poverty.
Talking about the immense hydropower potential of Arunachal Pradesh, the Prime Minister gave examples of how Nepal and Bhutan were harnessing hydropower to transform their economy, and how Himachal Pradesh had done the same for India.
He said Arunachal Pradesh could provide electricity to the entire country, and called for development of the State�s hydropower potential, simultaneously providing proper compensation to the people who get displaced by hydropower projects.
The Prime Minister revealed that the Union government is contemplating to establish six new agricultural colleges in the North East, and said the region could become a major centre for organic farming. �The North East can become organic farming capital of India,� he added.
He further shared that �Make in North East� is being envisaged as an integral part of the �Make in India� initiative.
�Ministers and senior officers of the Union government are now working in close coordination with the northeastern States to remove the bottlenecks in development, � he added.
Among others, Arunachal Pradesh Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, Union Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha and MoS for Home Kiren Rijiju were present on the occasion. State Assembly Speaker Nabam Rebia and Home Minister Tanga Byaling were also present.