Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Saturday said that time has come for Arunachal Pradesh to become self-reliant and stop solely depending on the Central government for all its needs.

He cited the example of a new-born child who depends upon its parents for all its needs but after becoming an adult goes independent.

“If we count our state from the union territory days, we are 50 years old and if we count from our statehood days, we are 36 years old. Both ways, we are mature and it is time for us to become economically as well as administratively self-reliant,” he said, while joining the Nyokum Yullo celebrations at Nyapin in Kurung Kumey district.

Khandu maintained that Arunachal has huge potential to become economically self-reliant while mentioning sectors like tourism, hydropower, agriculture and horticulture, minerals and other natural resources.

These resources, he insisted, have to be turned into revenue for which every individual has to contribute.

“We have the political will and now we need the people’s will,” he said.

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Referring to a coffee-table book on Kurung Kumey released on the occasion, Khandu said he never thought the district had so many scenically beautiful places hidden from the outside world. He called upon the people to explore these places and showcase them to the world and pave the way for a huge boost in tourism.

Admiring the pace of development in Nyapin assembly constituency, especially in road connectivity, Khandu remembered his last visit to Nyapin 10 years ago.

“That time it took me more than 12 hours to reach Nyapin from Itanagar. This time, despite making several stoppages en-route, it hardly took 6-7 hours to reach here. I must congratulate local legislator and home minister Bamang Felix for ensuring the fast pace of development,” he said.

In the last few years, most of the unconnected villages in the constituency have been connected by road. However, there are still 14 villages yet to be connected and Khandu assured that within the next 2-3 years, all these villages will be connected.

He also announced that all existing interior roads of the constituency will be made into cement concrete roads and assured to sanction funds for construction of a bridge as requested by the people.

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When informed that Phassang circle of the constituency is the only place without mobile connectivity, Khandu assured one of the 4G towers of the 980 towers sanctioned by the central government recently in the state for Phassang.

Hailing the Nyishi community for traditionally celebrating Nyokum festival each year with vigour, he remembered the festival he had attended at Nyapin 10 years ago.

“During that time, the Nyibus had predicted that one day I will lead the state as its chief minister. Their prediction has come true and I owe to them and the people of Nyapin for their blessings,” Khandu revealed.

He appealed to all, especially the next gen to carry forward this rich culture of the Nyishis. Terming development as a continuous process, he said ‘originality’ should not be diluted in the race to development.

“Wherever you may study, when you come back home you must speak in your mother tongue for our mother-tongue is the connection to our culture,” he urged.

Khandu also paid rich tributes and respects to former legislators of the constituency – Late Tadar Tang, Late Tadar Taniang and Tater Kipa, all former ministers – because of whose contributions Nyapin is where it is today.

Earlier in the day Khandu inaugurated the 2X250 KW Payu Mini Hydel station at Pinchi, the Sango-Pinchi PMGSY road and the building of the Eklavya Model Residential School (EMRS) at Nyapin.

Meanwhile, he also handed over sanction order copies for construction of a new circuit house and a village sanitary building at Nyapin to the deputy commissioner.

Among others, Lok Sabha MP Tapir Gao, legislators Laisam Simai and Phurpa Tsering and home minister Felix accompanied the chief minister.

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