A Rs 275.58-crore project for the electrification of villages in Arunachal Pradesh will be implemented in the next three years.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has cleared implementation of Pare Hydro Electric Project (110 MW) in Arunachal Pradesh by North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Limited (NEEPCO). The Project is estimated to cost Rs.573.99 crore. Briefing newsmen, Union Minister of State, Prithviraj Chavan said that the Project is scheduled to be commissioned in 44 months.

Tripura Renewable Energy Agency (TREA) has adopted an ambitious plan for producing low-cost electricity. As part of the plan, one solar hybrid project has been installed on top of the Vigyan Bhavan recently. The project that was established at a cost of Rs 5 lakh is unique in nature as it uses both wind and sunlight to generate power. The project has been producing two-kilo watt power each day by using wind as well as Sun, said Subhash Chowdhury, Director of TREA here on Tuesday.

Surface communication at several places in Arunachal Pradesh has been disrupted following landslides triggered by torrential rain for the last couple of days.

Over seven lakh bighas of Asom land have been encroached by four neighouring States

Riding on the back of a populist Budget, Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram today reiterated UPA Government's commitment for economic uplift of the north eastern region (NER), announcing a hike of Rs 2082 crore in Central allocation. The NER will continue to receive special attention and enhanced allocations. "I propose to provide Rs.1,455 crore to the Ministry, Development of the North Eastern Region (DoNER),' said the Union Finance Minister. The total Budget allocation for NER, spread over different Ministries and departments, will increase from Rs 14, 365 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 16, 447 crore in 2008-09, he announced. Although the Finance Minister spoke of special interest for development of NER, his words did not match the allocations. For instance, he announced a special centenary grant of Rs 20 crore to the Tocklai Experimental Station at Jorhat. The demand was for Rs 100 crore grant. The Tocklai Station at Jorhat of the Tea Research Association will celebrate its centenary in 2010. It is in the process of upgrading its facilities and expanding its activities to cover the NER, North Bengal and Darjeeling. A visibly agitated BPPF MP, SK Bwismutiary sought to interrupt Chidambaram on a couple of occasions, protesting meagre allocation for BTAD areas. The Finance Minister has also proposed to set up centres for development as mega clusters in handloom sector. The Government proposes to invest about Rs 70 crore in developing each cluster. An initial amount of Rs 100 crore was earmarked. Incidentally, both the projects are in Union Minister for State for Fertilizer and Chemicals, Bijoy Krishna Hendique's Parliamentary constituency. Meanwhile, the Special Purpose Tea Fund set up last year for re-plantation and rejuvenation has been earmarked Rs 40 crore. The fund popularly called the tea package was envisaged to bail out the sick tea industry. The NER and, especially, Arunachal Pradesh and the border areas face special problems that cannot be tackled in the usual course or through normal schemes. Hence, Government proposes to identify the urgent needs of these areas and address them through a special mechanism, he said, acknowledging the problems faced by the border State. "In order to jumpstart the process, I propose to set apart a sum of Rs.500 crore in a fund dedicated for the purpose,' said the Minister. The ambitious SARDP-NE, a programme envisaging development of road infrastructure, has been set a target of 300 km. Last fiscal, 180 km of road had been constructed. The Finance Minister also declared a special focus on saving the tigers. The number 1,411 should ring the alarm bells. "The tiger is under grave threat. In order to redouble our effort to protect the tiger, I propose to make a one time grant of Rs.50 crore to the National Tiger Conservation Authority. The bulk of the grant will be used to raise, arm and deploy a special Tiger Protection Force,' Chidambaram said. The National Aids Control Programme will be provided Rs.993 crore. Studies have shown that the prevalence rate of HIV and AIDS has come down from 0.9 per cent to 0.36 per cent, which is a matter of some satisfaction, he said. Meanwhile, allocation for flood control projects for the NER and Sikkim has been hiked to Rs 114.20 crore from Rs 58.39 crore. While there was no mention of the Majuli Protection Scheme, Pagladiya Project has been earmarked Rs 2 crore, a rise from Rs 1.29 crore. However, allocation for Indo-Bangladesh border works has gone down to Rs 484.23 crore from Rs 560.97 crore.

Notwithstanding tall claims by the north-eastern States, the region has recorded huge losses of forest cover, with the Forest Commission calling for an end to nexus between politician, bureaucrat and contractor in Assam and three other States. If the nexus between politician, bureaucrat and contractor goes on developing, as is the case in Assam, Uttaranchal, Himachal and Kashmir, then any attempt of development will be diminished and then the exploited tribal people will try to take revenge, the Commission warned.

Since the economy of the North East is basically agro-based, the primary reason for its poverty is agricultural backwardness. The very fact that the region has to look after 3.8 per cent of India's population with only 2.7 per cent of national income earned by its economy shows what poverty-distance it has to meet in order to catch up with the rest of the country. The region's per capita income-distance from all-India average has increased from Rs 1,706 in 1993-94 to Rs 7,000 in 2005-06.

Arunachal Pradesh Human Development Report 2005 Published by Arunachal Pradesh Government In 2005, Moji Riba, an Arunchal-based documentary maker returned to the Apatani plateau to see an

The Apatanis manage their forests well. So, they never have to buy wood from markets

Pages