Border situation with Mizoram fragile: Assam CM

The chief ministers of the region will be present at a meeting of the North East Space Applications Centre (NESAC), to be chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday said that the situation along the interstate border with Mizoram is currently “fragile” and it will take some time to resolve the disputes with the neighbouring state.

The chief minister, however, expressed optimism that some progress will be made in resolving boundary disputes with Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh when he meets his counterparts from these states of the North-eastern region on July 23 in Shillong.

The chief ministers of the region will be present at a meeting of the North East Space Applications Centre (NESAC), to be chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, on that day.

The NESAC is a joint initiative of the Department of Space and the North Eastern Council (NEC) to augment development of the region by providing advanced space technology support.

Sarma said that he is expecting some headway during the talks to resolve the border disputes with Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

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As far as the boundary dispute with Nagaland is concerned, the matter is in the court, he said.

“The situation with Mizoram, however, is not conducive. We are not seeing eyeball to eyeball in Hailakandi district (bordering Mizoram). The situation is fragile. It will take some time with Mizoram,” he said.

Tension along the inter-state with Mizoram in Cachar and Hailakandi districts of Assam have been escalating in the last few days over Assam Police’s drive to clear land allegedly encroached by miscreants from across the border.

An IED was hurled on an Assam government team visiting the border by suspected miscreants on July 10, while two back to back explosions were heard from across the border in the wee hours of July 11.

A high-level meeting between officials of both the states, including the chief secretaries and DGPs, was also held in New Delhi a few days ago on the issue.

Arunachal Conferred with ‘Most Improved Small State in Education’ Award

Arunachal Pradesh was today conferred the ‘Most Improved Small State’ award in terms of education and leading small state in fight against COVID19 by country’s leading media organisation India Today in the annual 'State Of The States Award 2020'.

In a tweet the Arunachal CM Pema Khandu wrote, "Education has been our biggest priority. Due to enormous effort put by education department and teachers in imparting quality education, the state has topped the
@IndiaToday #StateOfTheStatesAward 2020 list in the most improved small state in #Education."

"I dedicate @IndiaToday award for ‘leading small state in fight against #COVID19’ to our doctors, nurses, paramedics, helpers and police personnel who toiled day and night to keep us all safe. Also this would not have been possible without support from civil society organizations", the chief minister mentioned in a seprate tweet.

Earlier speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister said being a hilly state, Arunachal has its own unique challenges and opportunities.

CM Khandu said development may not have fully reached Arunachal, but patriotism has already reached this remote corner.

Meanwhile, the CM thanked the India Today group for bringing the concept of the ‘States of the States’ survey that has raised the sense of competitiveness among all states. He said such survey has benefitted the entire nation bringing in marked improvement in different sectors of development.

Two back to back earthquakes strike Northeast on Sunday afternoon

Guwahati: Two back to back earthquakes jolt Northeast on Sunday afternoon.

As per reports, the first earthquake measuring 4.2 on the Richter scale occurred at around 2.42 pm in Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh.

The second earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale occurred at around 3.02 pm in Chandel District of Manipur.

The epicenter of the earthquake measured 4.2 occurred at a depth of 10 km, whereas, the epicenter of the earthquake measured 3.4 occurred at a depth of 46 km, National Center for Seismology (NCS), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India informed.

No casualties or damages have been reported during the quakes.

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Arunachal Reopens for Tourists, Issues SOPs

As Arunachal Pradesh opened for tourists, Chief Minister Pema Khandu has requested them to follow the 'new normal' Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs).

Here are the SOPs to be followed:

1. Only pre-booked package tours, exclusively through local tours operators of the state will be allowed to operate. All tourist transport and ground handling services, including pick up/drop, will be through authorised local travel agents/tour operators

2. Protocol for local tour operator: All tourists should possess a valid Covid-19 negative certificate (RTPCRor True NAT test) from ICMR designated laboratory/facility, not more than 72 hours prior to the date of arrival, a government notification read.

3. All tourists and accompanying drivers and guides of the tour from outside the state should adhere to Covid-19 inter-state traveller testing protocol issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Arunachal Pradesh.

4. Tourists should strictly observe social distancing norms with a physical distance of two meters per person. Family groups can stay together if they ensure that they are at least two meters away from other individuals or family groups.

5. Tourists should wear a protective face mask while within the premises of any tourists destination. All payments should be done through digital modes, wherever possible. Use of the Aarogya Setu app is mandatory for tourists, tour guides and drivers.

Arunachal-Assam to Constitute Inter-State Panel to Resolve Border Disputes

Guwahati: The Arunachal Pradesh and Assam administrations on Monday decided to constitute an inter-state committee to address the border disputes between the two northeastern states.

The committee, comprising deputy commissioners, superintendents of police and district forest officers of the bordering districts of the two states will resolve the border disputes in their areas at the district level.

The officials also agreed to address the issues of cases pending against government officials over border disputes.

The Arunachal Pradesh delegation comprised Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, Home Commissioner Kaling Tayeng, DGP R P Upadhyaya, IGP (Law and Order) Chukhu Apa and deputy commissioners of Lower Siang, Lower Dibang Valley and Papumpare districts, besides Border Affairs Director Hage Lailang among others.

The Assam team comprised its Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar Krishna, Additional Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua (Home and Political and Border Protection & Development), DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, ADGP (Border) Mukesh Agarwal among others.

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Rajnath Singh Lays Foundation Stone For Nechiphu Tunnel In Arunachal Pradesh

Rajnath Singh Dedicates To The Nation 44 Bridges Built By Bro Across Seven States And Union Territories

GUWAHATI: Heralding in a new era in the connectivity of roads and bridges in sensitive areas close to Western, Northern and North Eastern Borders, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today dedicated 44 major permanent bridges to the Nation. He also laid the Foundation Stone for Nechiphu Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh.

These bridges are of strategic importance and provide connectivity to remote areas. The 44 bridges are spread over seven states/union territories. The dedication ceremony was conducted through a Video Conference in the presence of Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff, Gen MM Naravane and Defence Secretary, Ajay Kumar at New Delhi. Union Minister, Kiren Rijiju, Chief Ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Sikkim & Uttarakhand, Lt Governor of J&K, with Members of Parliament, civil/military dignitaries along with members of the public at various sites in respective States/ Union Territories attended through a video link.

In his address, the Defence Minister congratulated DG and all ranks of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for their achievements and said that the dedication of 44 bridges in one go in itself was a record. Rajnath Singh said in the challenging times of COVID-19 and despite the border tensions and disputes caused by Pakistan and China, the country was not only resolutely facing them but also bringing about historical changes in all sectors of development under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Lauding the BRO for its role in improving the border infrastructure, Rajnath Singh these bridges improved connectivity in the far-flung areas of Western, Northern and North East sectors and fulfilled the aspirations of local people. They would also meet the transport and logistics requirements of the armed forces throughout the year, he added.

Defence Minister said that roads and bridges are the lifeline of any nation and play a vital role in the socio-economic development of far-flung regions. Reiterating the Central Government’s commitment to boost development activities in border areas, he said that the progress of all projects is regularly being monitored and adequate funds are being provided for their timely execution.

He said that the annual budget of BRO that varied from Rs 3,300 Crores to Rs 4,600 Crores in years 2008-2016, saw a substantial rise and is pegged at over Rs 11,000 Crores in 2020-21. There was no reduction of this budget despite COVID-19.

Defence Minister also announced that the government has sanctioned high altitude clothing to BRO engineers and workers.

Rajnath Singh also laid the Foundation Stone of the strategically important Nechiphu Tunnel on the road to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. This 450 mtrs long, bi-lane tunnel would ensure all weather connectivity across Nechiphu Pass besides providing safe and secure passage through accident-prone areas.

Briefing the dignitaries, Lt Gen Harpal Singh, DG BRO, said the 44 bridges of various spans ranging from 30 mtrs to 484 mtrs are located in J&K (10), Ladakh (08), Himachal Pradesh (02), Punjab (04), Uttarakhand (08), Arunachal Pradesh (08) and Sikkim (04). They are of strategic importance and have been designed to facilitate the movement of heavy civil & military traffic in border areas. In line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, these bridges will contribute towards the overall economic growth of remote border areas and will also assist in the speedy deployment of Armed Forces in strategically important sectors.

He said that in addition to expediting road construction, the BRO has laid special emphasis on the construction of bridges by completing 28 major bridges last year while 102 major bridges are being completed this year. 54 of these bridges have already been completed. Over 60 Bailey Bridges have also been constructed by BRO to meet the immediate requirements of armed forces and people living in remote areas.

BRO has worked relentlessly even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic restrictions continuing with works of strategic importance like Construction of Major Bridges & Roads, Atal Tunnel Rohtang, Sela Tunnel etc, and Snow Clearance for the opening of Strategic Mountain Passes.

In spite of unprecedented snowfall breaking a 60 years record, all strategic passes & roads were cleared for traffic about one month before their average yearly opening dates. This brought relief to people of border areas and ensured rapid & early movement of troops & logistics.

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Highest single-day spike of COVID-19 +ve cases in Arunachal

Itanagar: On Monday the highest single-day spike of COVID-19 positive cases was recorded in Arunachal Pradesh. As per a state health department source, as many as 90 fresh corona positive cases were recorded on Monday.

Of the new cases 56 are from the Capital Complex, 14 from Papum Pare district, seven from Upper Siang, five from Namsai, three each from East Siang and West Siang, one each from Leparada and Lower Dibang Valley districts. This was stated by L Jampa, the State Surveillance Officer

Presently, total lockdown prevails at the Capital Comples which consists of Itanagar, Naharlagun, Nirjuli and Banderdewa.

Also Read: Arunachal Pradesh Govt suspends transportation...

Arunachal Pradesh Govt suspends transportation of tea leaves from Namsai to Tinsukia

By Bijoy Sutradhar

Tinsukia: Amid the rise in COVID-19 positive cases in Namsai District (Arunachal Pradesh Government) and Tinsukia District, the transportation of tea leaves from Namsai to Tinsukia District has been suspended from Monday onwards until further order.

In a notification, Namsai Administration (Arunachal Pradesh Government) stated that the decision of imposing restriction was taken in the interest of maintenance of public health, hygiene and safety of the general public.

Meanwhile, the Superintendent of Police, Namsai and Administrative Officers-cum-Executive Magistrates of Namsai District has been directed to enforce the order as soon possible.

Strict action will be taken against the violators, the order stated further.

Also Read: Tinsukia Admin Issues Travel Restriction Amid Virus Scare

CM Khandu inaugurates Prayer Hall & Statue of Guru Padmasambhava in Tawang

Itanagar: The CM of Arunachal Pradesh, Pema Khandu on Monday inaugurated the Prayer Hall with the statue of Guru Padmasambhava at Chumi Gyatse in Tawang Dist. Despite the religious significance of this area to the local Tibetan and Monpa Community, the Chumi Gyatse lacked the infrastructure to fulfill the aspirations of the locals.

In a joint effort, led by the CM and Indian Army, the project of constructing this prayer hall commenced in May 2018 and was completed in June 2020. Along with this construction, civil administration and the Indian Army has improved the connectivity to this remote location by constructing a motorable road.

Pema Khandu dedicated this to the people of Arunachal Pradesh for offering prayers at this highly revered site as he felt that this would boost the tourism to these remote areas, as part of the Indian Army initiative of nominating 2020 as the Year of Tourism.

He also thanked the Indian Army for providing wholehearted assistance in making this a reality and reiterated the successful civil-military bonhomie existing in the border state of Arunachal Pradesh. The event was also attended by MLAs of Dirang and Lumla and local Monpas of Tawang.

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6 NSCN (IM) Insurgents Neutralized By Security Forces

Guwahati: Security forces neutralized six insurgents belonging to the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) (NSCN (IM) in Kohnsa, Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh. One soldier of Assam Rifles was reportedly injured in the operation and his condition was stated to be stable, they said.

Khonsa is located at a distance of 50 km from Tinsukia, a leading industrial town in Assam. The encounter took place at around 4:30 am, the sources said, adding six weapons along with "war-like stores" were recovered from the area.

The operation was launched by the Assam Rifles based on specific intelligence inputs that armed insurgents were present in the general area of Khonsa in Tirap district of Arunachal Pradesh.

"At approximately 4:30 hours, an operational contact was established with the NSCN (IM) insurgents in the area. In the ensuing firefight, six insurgents were neutralized," said a source.

The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) or NSCN (IM) is a militant outfit fighting for a separate homeland for Naga people for the last several decades. It has been holding talks with the Centre for resolution of the vexed six-decade-long Naga issue.

Meanwhile, sources from the security forces informed the Midage Media that the operation is still on.

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