Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu handing out a cheque to a beneficiary on Thursday Credit: EastMojo image

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu on Thursday distributed land compensation cheques worth Rs 53 crore to beneficiaries of land acquired by the Army at Bora Ropuk village in Upper Subansiri district.

Distributing the cheques to representatives of 47 families identified as the beneficiaries, the chief minister thanked the role of Union minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju in expediting the land compensation within short time.

He said no land compensation is being paid by the Indian Army across the country except in Arunachal Pradesh as special case.

Khandu further appealed the people to maintain harmonious relation with Army, paramilitary forces. He said the people of Tawang has benefited enormously with such relations and thanked the locals for giving away their land for defence establishments.

He suggested that a festival celebrating the civil-military friendship can also be celebrated in Dumporijo as it is celebrated in the Tawang and West Kameng districts.

Further responding to a public memorandum for recruitment of porters in Indian Army and other jobs for locals, the chief minister assured to discuss the matter with the Army authorities.

This is not the first instance of villagers in Arunachal Pradesh being paid land compensation — thanks to land acquisition by the Army since the early 1960s.

Following the Sino-Indo war of 1962, the Indian Army had launched a land acquiring programme to set up bases, construct roads; build bridges etc in the border state.

Until 2016, the villagers hadn’t been paid. However, in April 2017, the Centre released Rs 54 crore for 152 families of three villages of West Kameng district. The Centre in September 2017 issued another set of notifications sanctioning release of Rs 158 crore as compensation for private land taken over in the State by the army.

In February 2018, Rs 40.80 crore was handed over to 31 families of Bomja village in Tawang district. While 29 families got Rs 1.09 crore each, one family got richer by Rs 6.73 crore and another by 2.45 crore. In October, a total of Rs 24.56 crore was handed out to five villagers of Singchung from the West Kameng district while Rs 13.17 crore was given to seven residents of Tukpen making them millionaires overnight.

Earlier, the chief minister accompanied by MoS Rijiju, legislators Paknga Bage and Punji Mara and other dignitaries inaugurated the third leg of Arunachal Rising campaign at Dumporijo.

In his public speech, Khandu spoke on the achievements made so far by the state in the last two years. He also spoke on the objectives of Arunachal Rising campaign and the benefits of Sarkar Aapke Dwar (government at your doorsteps) camps being conducted across the state.

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