Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu at Independence Day celebrations in Itanagar on August 15

Aiming to boost last-mile delivery of healthcare services in the state, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu announced a ‘medicine from the sky’ initiative to provide medicines through drones, during his Independence Day speech at Itanagar on August 15.

Speaking after hoisting the tricolour, chief minister Pema Khandu said: “In a first of its kind initiative, drones will be used in health supply chains to deliver vaccines and medicines to distant places, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. The ‘medicine from the sky’ programme was launched today morning, with the first sortie of medicines delivered in East Kameng district.”

With the use of drones, medicines and vaccines will be delivered to far-clung areas in the state, Khandu said.

He also announced another initiative called ‘Chief Minister Health Emergency Life Protection Service (CM-HELPS), under which the government will upgrade the health infrastructure by transforming ‘casualty rooms’ in all general and district hospitals into ‘emergency care centres’ to provide quality, accessible and affordable emergency care.

To tackle the ‘growing’ menace of drug addiction in the state, Khandu said: “Government will establish three state-of-the-art treatment and rehabilitation centres at Namsai, Itanagar and Bomdila in addition to significantly increasing the allocation of ‘Chief Minister’s Nasha Mukti Abhiyan’ from Rs 4 crore to Rs 15 crore.”

To boost the air connectivity sector, the chief minister said: “In addition to existing 6 ALGs (Advanced Landing Grounds), we are working with the central government to establish three more airports in Arunachal Pradesh – one at Dirang in West Kameng, second at Anini in Dibang Valley and the third in Upper Subansiri district.”

Informing that the 1600-km Trans Arunachal Highway is nearing completion, Khandu reiterated the significance of building an 1800-km-long Frontier Highway to connect the remotest upper reaches along the border. Regarding the East-West Corridor, he said the state government is ready to complete pre-construction activities including a techno-economic feasibility study and preparation of DPRs from its own resources.

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