Arunachal Pradesh- Ushering Development By Uplifting Rural Livelihoods

14 Jul 2023

In the last decade, the state of Arunachal Pradesh, which is home to some of the most intriguing landscapes, vibrant indigenous cultures and pristine biodiversity, has evolved into a model for rural development. This transformation has been the result of a series of well-coordinated, multi-faceted initiatives, targeting the state’s all-round development. Let us delve into the numerous endeavors undertaken to propel the development of Arunachal Pradesh’s rural regions, focusing on the advancement of infrastructure, employment opportunities, housing, energy provision, social services, and the overall welfare of its residents.

Infrastructure Development:

One of the significant achievements in Arunachal Pradesh’s rural development is the construction of 9,174 kilo-meters of all-weather rural roads in a span of just seven years. This is a remarkable improvement compared to 4,131 kilo-meters of road constructed between 2001 and 2016. The expansion of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) has resulted in a notable increase in road density, from a mere 4.9 kilometers in 2016 to an impressive 15.9 kilometers per 100 square kilometers. This extensive road network has effectively connected previously isolated rural communities, facilitating the movement of people, goods, and services, and stimulating economic growth in the region.

Employment Generation:

Parallel to these infrastructural strides, the state government has made significant progress in empowering the rural workforce. Recognizing the importance of creating sustainable livelihood opportunities, the government of Arunachal Pradesh has implemented the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA). Through this program, 3.11 lakh job cards have been issued, guaranteeing employment opportunities for rural households. MGNREGA has not only alleviated poverty but has also acted as a safety net during periods of seasonal unemployment, ensuring a steady income for rural families.

Housing Initiatives:

Housing has been another focal point of the government’s rural development strategy. The provision of adequate housing is a critical aspect of rural development. Therefore, under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Gramin (PMAY-G), 36,378 pucca houses have been sanctioned, with 13,744 houses completed so far. This initiative aims to provide safe and secure housing for families, improving their quality of life. Additionally, the Chief Minister Rural Housing Scheme offers a top-up of ₹20,000 to support the construction of houses, further enhancing the accessibility of affordable housing for rural communities.

Energy Accessibility:

The state’s efforts to enhance the quality of life in rural areas extends to energy provision as well. To address the energy needs of rural households, Arunachal Pradesh has actively participated in the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana and Ujjwala 2.0. Under these schemes, 48,503 LPG connections have been provided to beneficiaries from below the poverty line (BPL). Moreover, the state government has gone a step further by offering an additional ₹1,000 top-up, making clean cooking fuel more affordable and reducing health risks associated with traditional fuels. The electrification of villages has also been prioritised, with the installation of 6,000 solar street lights in 728 border villages, ensuring access to reliable and sustainable energy sources. Adding on, 50 micro and mini hydel projects in border villages have also been taken up with 9 projects already completed in Phase I.

Government Outreach Programmes:

To bridge the gap between the government and rural communities, the Govt of Arunachal Pradesh has implemented innovative programs such as the “Sarkar Aapke Dwar” and “Sewa Aapke Dwar 2.0.” These initiatives aim to bring governance and essential services closer to the people. The initiatives have been tremendously successful, benefiting 11.86 lakh and 1,82,965 beneficiaries respectively. Under these initiatives, numerous camps have been conducted across the state to provide a range of services for the benefit of the people. In essence, these have been instrumental in bridging the gap between the government and the rural communities.

Water and Food Security:

Water and food security has also been at the forefront of the state’s rural development agenda. A total of 1,82,754 households have been provided with functional tap connections, a dramatic increase from just 22,796 in 2016. Furthermore, One Nation One Ration Card, has provided 1.8 lakh ration cards to households in Arunachal Pradesh. This scheme has enabled families to access essential commodities at a subsidised rate, thereby improving their standard of living. The automation of 1,968 Fair Price Shops has further streamlined the process of procuring essential commodities, ensuring the availability and accessibility of food supplies even in the remotest corners of the state.

Inclusive Governance:

In recognition of the crucial role played by Gaon Burahs/Burhis (the traditional leaders of the villages) in rural governance, the Govt has also increased their monthly honorarium from ₹1,000 to ₹1,500. Additionally, the Head Gaon Burahs/Burhis now receive ₹2,000, up from ₹1,500, recognizing their significant contribution to village development.

Reaching The Farthest Corner:

The Vibrant Villages Programme has mapped 1,452 villages and identified 455 priority villages for development. The state has connected 252 border habitations through the construction of 2,506 km of roads so far. The program will cater to the all-round development of the rural community inhabiting the remotest parts of the state.

All in all, Arunachal Pradesh has made significant progress in its development, especially in its rural areas. With the implementation of various schemes and initiatives, the state has been able to improve the lives of its citizens and create significant employment opportunities. The state’s focus on sustainable energy and village development is a positive step towards creating a better tomorrow. Arunachal Pradesh is truly advancing and is well on its way to becoming a model state for development.

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