NEW DELHI, June 28 � With the new NDA Government at the Centre cozying up to both China and Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki has quickly sought to seize the opportunity by urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reopen the historic Stilwell Road and open Indo-Bhutan trade through Tawang.
The Arunachal Chief Minister called on Modi on Friday and presented him a detailed briefing about the problems of the State.
Sources said Tuki stressed strengthening Indo-Bhutan trade by taking up the road from Lumla in Tawang to Tashigang in Bhutan. Apart from giving an alternate road for the people of Tawang to reach Guwahati and other parts of the country, this road will facilitate tourism and other economic activities between the two countries, he mentioned.
He informed the Prime Minister that the Indian portion of the road upto the borders of Bhutan has already been completed and is motorable, while a stretch of about 12 km on the Bhutan side remains to be constructed. He also called for opening up of the Pangsau Pass to expand Indo-Myanmar trade and bilateral relations.
Referring to the historic Stilwell Road, Tuki pointed out that most of the 1,726-km-long road is now in usable condition and only about 160 km portion in Myanmar needs renovation and repairs.
��Opening of this road provides direct connectivity to Yunnan province of China. It is in our national interest to build this 160-km portion through an agency like BRO and open this road for trade and commerce at the earliest,� he said.
He further said that the Land Customs Station (LCS) Nampong, notified way back in August 1951, is lying
non-functional at present. Therefore, the Government of India should initiate early action for reopening of the Land Customs Station, Nampong (Pangsau Pass) with required infrastructure and also for posting of customs officer which will not only benefit the state of Arunachal Pradesh, but also the entire North-east India.
During his 30-minute interaction with Modi, Tuki called for early resolution of the impasse leading to the stalling of work related to the 2000 MW lower Subansiri project by seeking the intervention of the Centre to bring all the stakeholders to the discussion table.
Tuki, while underlining the importance of sustainably harnessing the hydropower potential of the state, mentioned that the total share of state equity requirement is to the tune of Rs 13,000 crore spread over a period of ten years. In this regard, he appealed for a short-term equity requirement from the Central Government of Rs 8,875 crore for the period 2015-16 to 2019-20 to cater to eight major projects which are at advanced stages of implementation.