Tezu: Connectivity is a prerequisite and vital for the development of all sectors and the government is committed to providing improved roads, education, electricity and healthcare to the people at their doorstep, Arunachal Pradesh deputy chief minister Chowna Mein said on Monday.

He said this after dedicating a composite steel bridge over the river Haju to the people of Lohit district. The bridge was a long-felt need of the denizens.

During his day-long visit to the district, Mein was accompanied by local legislator Karikho Kri, deputy commissioner Marge Sora, SP Ankit Singh, ZPM Balong Tindya, HoDs, PRI members and the general public.

The 40-metre-long bridge was funded under RIDF-XX and executed by PWD. The bridge is the only link between Tezu and Bhekhuliang village during the monsoon.

Mein also inspected the Paya River flood plains to take stock of the developmental needs.

He later laid the foundation stone for upgrading the new building complex of the Zonal General Hospital, Tezu.

Addressing the gathering, the DCM assured all possible help to the health department and the district administration. He assured immediate release of Rs 20 lakh for the repair and maintenance of hospital quarters.

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Highlighting the issue of opium cultivation, substance abuse and addiction in this part of eastern Arunachal, Mein asked all to learn from Mother’s Association, Aalo in tackling the issue.

He also stressed the need to turn to alternative livelihood means such as areca nut plantation instead of opium.

Karikho Kri, while reminding that the Tezu hospital was established when Lohit district was undivided, it still caters to the four eastern districts of Anjaw, Dibang Valley, Lower Dibang Valley and Namsai and the nearby areas of Assam. He urged the state government to transform the Zonal General Hospital into a specialised First Referral Unit.

District Medical Officer CL Manchay put forth the grievances of the health department such as shortage of manpower and quarters in the Zonal General Hospital.

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