Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to inaugurate the newly-constructed Donyi Polo Airport in Itanagar next month, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu indicated on September 9.
Addressing the Solung celebrations at Ruksin in East Siang district, Khandu said an aerodrome license has been granted for operationalization of the Donyi Polo Airport at Itanagar.
Khandu also said he will be writing to the Prime Minister’s Office to request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to do the honour of inaugurating the airport.
The Donyi Polo Airport in Itanagar would be Arunachal Pradesh`s third airport after Pasighat and Tezu airports and the Northeast`s 16th airport.
The name of the airport would represent the long-standing customs and rich cultural legacy of the tribally dominant state and would also reflect the long-standing indigenous respect for the Sun (Donyi) and the Moon (Polo) among the populace.
The Airport Authority of India has undertaken a Rs 650 crore project to develop the airport to boost air connectivity in mountainous areas.
The chief minister had earlier said that work on the airport is on a war footing and shall be made operational soon.
Joining the Solung celebrations, Khandu said: “Indigenous festivals are not only occasions to showcase our rich cultural heritage but an opportunity to strengthen our connection with our roots.”
Citing that tribal culture in many countries across the globe has shrunk to the level of being mere tourism material, Khandu lauded that Arunachal Pradesh still has its indigenous cultural heritage alive and thriving.
“What is encouraging is that our youths today are taking pride in their culture, voluntarily participating in festivals like Solung and speaking in their mother tongue. Our identity is in safe hands!” he observed.
While modernity and development is inevitable, Khandu asserted that it should not be at the cost of the state’s rich and varied cultural identity.
He lauded the Adi community for leading from the front when it comes to preserving its culture while embracing development on all fronts.
Reiterating his call for war against drug abuse, Khandu said that the menace is a great threat to the future of youths. He urged the elders and youths of the area to keep vigil and prevent the entry of any kind of abusive substances into Ruksin area.
Talking on development, the chief minister said that Pasighat area has witnessed unprecedented development in recent years.
“The Pasighat airport is functional and comes this winter, work of the railway line to Pasighat will also commence. Then the rich and organic horticulture and agriculture produce, which abounds in the region, can be transported to markets across the country and beyond,” he pointed out.
Khandu assured that the state government is alive to all voices of the community and youth-based organizations and that the state government is committed to incorporating these in making important policy decisions.
“Arunachal is a diverse state with so many tribes, therefore development of the state depends on the equal development of all the tribes. The contribution of each community in policy decisions is important for pan Arunachal development,” he said and asserted that the state government is committed to the welfare of each community and the development of each district, each constituency.
Khandu announced sanctioning funds for the construction of a mini-secretariat at Ruksin.
Earlier in the day, the chief minister inaugurated the 60 mtr RCC bridge over Sille river on Mirem-Mikong-Jonai road while MP Tapir Gao inaugurated the 22 mtr RCC bridge over Ngorlung river on Mirem-Mikong- Ruksin road.
The Solung celebration was also attended by Speaker P D Sona, local MLA Ninong Ering, legislators Kaling Moyong, Talem Taboh and Dasanglu Pul, former Ruksin MLA Tatung Jamoh and others.