'Arunachal govt willing to engage community leaders to work as partners', says CM Kalikho Pul

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Itanagar, February 27: During a meeting with All Tutsa Welfare Society (ATWS) on Thursday, the newly elected Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Kalikho Pul said that the government is willing to engage community leaders to work as partners and stated that by such engagement, the government will be able to include priorities of all the communities and improve quality of life for all. “Basically, the prime focus of the government will be on health, education, power and water supply”, informed Pul.
The chief minister, while speaking to the leaders of the community, called for a greater role of community leaders in the development of the state, as they have better knowledge of the local conditions.

Sharing their community grievances with the chief minister, ATWS identified their community as one of the most backward in the state and expressed high expectations from the government. The community leaders were accompanied by Changlang MLA Tesam Pongte and former Khonsa East MLA Wanglam Sawin.

“To gain trust of the people, honesty is the most essential quality,” The CM said and advised the community leaders to strictly adopt honest means of livelihood. To fight opium cultivation in the districts of Tirap and Changlang, Pul told the visiting delegates that the government will be taking all initiatives to provide alternate livelihood means through horticulture and agriculture.

The chief minister shared the experience of Anjaw and Lohit districts where poppy cultivation has greatly reduced, news agency The Arunachal Times reported.

“Farmers have started reaping huge benefit by growing cardamom and orange. In the current year, the turnover from cardamom in Anjaw district was Rs 19-20 crore,” informed the chief minister adding, “Now the farmers in Anjaw are expanding their cultivable areas with the new cash crops such as cardamom, orange and ginger, which is being introduced with the help of the government.”

The chief minister, however, favoured for soft approach when dealing with the opium cultivators. “Without support of alternative means, the opium cultivators may face livelihood crisis as it may be their only source of income,” he said.

The chief minister further said that the government is willing to establish de-addiction and rehabilitation centers, if such interventions are necessary to address the drug addiction menace in the Tirap and Changlang district.

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