Rajnath Singh with Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu (Arunachal CMO)

Defence minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a two-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh, on November 14 said the road to ‘New India’ runs through ‘New Northeast India’, and the Centre is planning to set up NE Industrial corridor that will create numerous job opportunities for the people of the region.

The defence minister said this during his address at the 11th Maitree Diwas celebrations in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang.

“The Arunachal corridor will act as a land bridge between India and South East Asia that will provide employment opportunities and give fillip to trade and tourism,” a defence release quoted Singh as saying.

Underlining the special emphasis of the government on the development of the NE region under the ‘Act East Policy’, the defence minister said, “India is marching forward on the path of all-round progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”

Reaffirming Centre’s commitment to improve connectivity in border areas, Singh said, approval to construct a tunnel at Sela Pass to Tawang, operationalisation of Pasighat airport, nod to set up Hollongi airport near Itanagar and work to establish three strategic railway lines in the region are some of the decisions in that direction.

He said the projects will provide all-weather connectivity to the local population, facilitate the movement of the armed forces and give a boost to tourism.

The defence minister also lauded the five-year road plan of chief minister Pema Khandu under which all the existing inter-state and inter-district roads will be upgraded to state highway specifications by 2024.

Speaking on Maitree Diwas, which is showcasing the local culture as well as modern military demonstrations, including Helicopter flypast and weapon display, he said, the festival symbolises the patriotism of the people of the region and their close relationship with the armed forces.

Singh said this ‘civil-military friendship’ is an assurance that the nation’s borders are doubly safe.

He called for oneness among people, civil administration, police and central armed police forces to realise the dream of ‘New India’.

The defence minister also urged the youth of the border state to actively join the Armed Forces.

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