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How Indian Railways has opened the doors of Arunachal Pradesh to common man

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By Anurag Paul

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off two trains bringing Arunachal Pradesh in railway   map of the country last week. Efforts are on to connect all major towns of the state by rail link.

Balipara-Bhalukpong railway track is completed and awaiting trial run in April, Railways General Manager RK Singh informed Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on Saturday, according to a statement from the CMO in Itanagar. A proposal for connecting Parshuram Kund and Pasighat through Tezu is in the pipeline, it said. Singh, who called on Tuki along with a team of railway officers, also informed him about the Along-Silapathar-North Lakhimpur railway line.

He sought help from the state government on issues relating to land acquisition near the Naharlagun Railway Station to build a bridge over river Pachin, the statement said. The General Manager also asked the CM to help them in identifying a suitable land for construction of a railway guest house and office. Tuki assured Singh of all assistance and said that any kind of development is welcome in Arunachal Pradesh, the statement said.

Often referred to as India’s land of rising sun, and despite almost 27 years of attaining statehood, Arunachal remains accessible by road and to some extent , by air. However there are remote areas that are accessible only on foot. Coming of the rail line was greeted with enthusiasm by the travelling public, the traders, power developers and tourist agents. The state has massive tourism potential and is eyed by major power developers, both public and private, as the ultimate source of hydro power development. The state is developing 41,400.5 MW capacity of power and its hydro power potential is estimated to be around 60,000 MW.

Before the just launched daily passenger train service on the Harmuti – Naharlagun (Itanagar) broad gauge section, the state had only 1.26 km railway line inside its border with a single station, Bhalukpong, in East Kameng district. In January 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced introducing train service in his package for the state.

 

 

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

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He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)

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