Responding to a question from this editor as to why the Government of India has given a lollipop in the name of statehood to Arunachal Pradesh unlike Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland without protecting the right of the people over their resources when it wants the state to generate its own resources, Fernandes justified that some North East Governors have been given special constitutional powers keeping in mind the strategic location, particularly Arunachal.
On being pointed out that the state assembly recently adopted a resolution demanding constitutional protection like that of Manipur, Meghalaya and Nagaland, he clarified that "when the state moves New Delhi for a constitutional amendment, the matter is discussed and decided".
Fernandes pointed out that many North East students with keen urge for higher studies are heading for different parts of the country, including Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai etc in recent days, and added that the Government of India has decided to set up institution of higher education in each North East state to meet their urge.
"Moreover, we are building hostels for North East students in Delhi. The latest decision is to build a hostel for North East Girls in JNU campus with the support of the DoNER Ministry and North East state governments for which JNU has provided land," he added.
Fernandes said the road connectivity is given highest priority as North East is an important component of our country.
"After taking charge of the ministry, I had conducted a conference at Guwahati on August 2 last to review various ongoing projects of the region and decided to visit each state. I am here at the invitation of the GoAP and state PWD for review as well as to have insight of the state scenario and kick start some of the projects," he said, while informing the purpose of his visit.
"Many North East roads have been handed over to the Border Roads Organizations (BRO) but the pressure on them was too much, he said referring to the recent cloud bust that devastated Uttarakhand.
Though the BRO had put all its men and machineries at its disposal to salvage the situation but the pressure was too much. That was why the BRO had decided to part away with some road (except any strategic road) to be executed by the MoRTH (Ministry of Road Transport and Highways)," he disclosed.
"With the PMO keeping a tab on progress of NE projects, the MoRTH has been giving full attention to all NE roads, particularly Arunachal surrounded by three nations (Bhutan, China and Myanmar) where infrastructure and roads were very essential," he added.
Fernandes accompanied by his wife Blossom Fernandez and Union MoS (Minority Affairs) Ninong Ering arrived here on Thursday on his maiden two-day visit.
Accompanied by Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, Ering, state MPs and ministers, Fernandes visited Sagalee and state capital to lay foundation stone of slew of projects mostly Trans-Arunchal Highway and four-Lanning of Itanagar-Gohpur highway at Chmpu, a part of the PM's package.
He also addressed a high level meeting to review various ongoing projects in the state.
--ANI (Posted on 04-10-2013)