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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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All You Need To Know About The Rafale Deal Controversy

The fiasco that Congress is creating on the Rafale Deal is certainly not fair

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Rafale Deal is very important for both the countries involved i.e. India and France.
Rafale Deal is very important for both the countries involved i.e. India and France.

By Ruchika Verma 

  • Rafale Deal happened between India and France
  • The Rafale Deal is about the Rafale fighter jets
  • The deal is getting into controversies because of the allegations de by the opposition, especially Congress

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in April 2015 made the announcement that India will buy 36 French-manufactured Rafale fighter jets from Dassault, a French aircraft builder and integrator. This came to be known as Rafale Deal.

The Rafale deal of 36 Rafale aircrafts between India and France was called a “win-win partnership” for both the countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi finalised the Rafale Deal during his visit to France in 2015. (FILE PHOTO)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi finalised the Rafale Deal during his visit to France in 2015. (FILE PHOTO)

But recently it has come under attack of the Opposition, mainly the Indian National Congress, which has alleged that there have been irregularities in this deal and its proceedings. However, the government has denied and rejected all the charges.

The Rafale Deal is nothing new and was also signed during the time of UPA government. The first time it came to light was during the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee where the original proposal was to buy 126 fighter jets.

After tests and negotiations in 2012, Rafale was considered L-1 bidder and negotiations started which only came to a conclusion as the Rafale Deal in 2015 under Prime Minister Modi’s government.

NDA government has got a better price on the Rafale Deal than the UPA governement.
NDA government has got a better price on the Rafale Deal than the UPA government.

Now the UPA alleging irregularities on NDA government doesn’t seem fair to many because no deal took place under their government. The transfer of technology was a primary issue of concern between the two sides. Dassault Aviation also tried to deny to take the responsibility of quality control of the production of 108 aircraft in India. The Dassault provided for 3 crore man-hours for production of the Rafale jets in India, HAL’s estimate was approximately 3 times higher which resulted in an escalation of costs in the manifold.

Also Read: Make in India: France to set up production centers for Rafale fighters

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to France in 2015 helped bring this deal to a final conclusion. The government-to-government deal of 36 jets was to completed as soon as possible.

On costs of the Rafale Deal, NDA government has said that it got better terms than those quoted in the original bid under the UPA government. The total savings are reported to be of more than 1600 million Euros. However, the cost breakdown of Rafale Deal in the original bid under UPA government and in the 36 aircraft in the NDA’s government-to-government deal is not available for the public domain.

The Rafale Deal involves no private party from the side of India. www.worldwide-military.com
The Rafale Deal involves no private party from the side of India. www.worldwide-military.com

Under the current agreement, the  Rafale Deals support the ‘Make In India’ initiative of the Indian Government through the IGA’s Article 12. It states that France will facilitate the implementation of ‘Make In India’. These critical design technologies were already discussed between the two governments in previous meetings. The present Rafale Deal is signed between two sovereign governments and there is no private individual, firm or entity involved in the process from the side of India. The procurement process also does not include any private company or firm from India.

Also Read: IAF’s Rafale Deal with France: India confirms order

The fiasco that Congress is creating on the Rafale Deal is certainly not fair as the NDA government has proved that their deal is better than the one which was undertaken during the UPA government.