Itanagar: The State Level Empowered Committee (SLEC) under the chairmanship of chief secretary Naresh Kumar on Wednesday approved an estimated investment of Rs 54.94 crore for the development of Dudunghar Rurban Cluster in Tawang district under the Shyama Prasad Mukherji Rurban Mission (SPMRM).

Speaking on the occasion, the chief secretary opined that the objective must be to develop the Dudunghar Cluster into a cluster of villages that preserve and nurture the essence of rural community life.

“The focus of these villages should be on equity and inclusiveness without compromising the facilities perceived to be essentially urban in nature, thus creating a cluster of “Rurban Villages”, which is also the vision of SPMRM,” he said.

Kumar directed the rural development department, state’s nodal agency for SPMRM to make sure that economic activities are the central focus in all the 4 Tribal Rurban clusters, including Dudunghar.

The SLEC has earlier approved the detailed project report for the Tuting, Nafra, and Richukrong Tribal Clusters of Arunachal Pradesh.

Emphasizing on providing a holistic approach for the development of the Dudunghar Cluster, Kumar directed the rural development department to ensure that the economic activities are not just limited to construction of assets but they also consist of sustainable livelihood operations. “It should result in the increase of local employment, rural tourism and improvement in the region’s economy,” he said.

The chief secretary further suggested that emphasis should be given on area specific schemes instead of taking up multiple projects.

“For example, to tap the potential and strengthen the economic development of Dudunghar Cluster, homestays should be promoted as it has the potential to become one of the major tourist destinations considering its scenic beauty and rural setup,” he said.

Kumar also opined that the ownership of the assets constructed may be given to local groups/ SHGs/community to enhance its sustainability.

Earlier, the detailed project report for Dudunghar Cluster presented by the RD secretary Amarnath Talwade with 6 components namely, tourism promotion, agri-services & processing and allied activities, skill development, road connectivity, piped water supply, and sanitation was approved with a partial modification.

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