Khandu pleads Centre for developing more ALGs in state |*Fund for SWAN service extension assured*

ITANAGAR, Aug 05: Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday requested the Centre to consider development of Advance Landing Grounds (ALGs) in the state.

Khandu accompanied by Lok Sabha MP from the state Tapir Gao, called on Union Civil Aviation Minister Joytiraditya M Scindia at New Delhi and urged him to develop ALGs keeping in view the strategic location of the state.

Besides pleading for conducting a feasibility inspection of ALG Tuting and Mechuka in Upper Siang and Shi-Yomi districts for fixed wing operation, Khandu reiterated for starting of fixed wing flight operation at Pasighat in East Siang and Tezu in Lohit district on priority.

A total of eight ALGs made operational by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in Arunachal Pradesh since Rs 720-crore project received impetus in 2013. The ALGs include Vijaynagar in Changlang district, Aalo (West Siang), Mechuka (Shi-Yomi), Pasighat (East Siang), Tawang (Tawang), Tuting (Upper Siang), Walong (Anjaw) and Ziro in Lower Subansiri district.

The chief minister also discussed with the minister various issues pertaining to the state in the civil aviation sector, an official communiqué informed.

Khandu briefed the union minister about the progress of Holongi Airport near Itanagar and said that the work on the dream project Airport is on war footing and would be made operational by 2022.

State’s Civil Aviation Minister Nakap Naloh, MLA Rode Bui, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar and commissioner Prashant Lokhande also accompanied the chief minister, the communiqué added.

Menawhile, union Minister for Railways, Communication and Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw has assured Arunachal Pradesh to fund for extension of State Wide Area Networks (SWAN) in all uncovered districts up to block level for proliferation of internet governance.

The minister’s assurance came when State Council for IT & E-Governance Chairman Doni Nich and Lok Sabha member from the state Tapir Gao called on him at his New Delhi office on Wednesday.

Vaishnaw also assured to visit the frontier state very soon to take stock of its communication & IT scenario, official sources informed.

The Centre had approved SWANs scheme in March 2005 with a total outlay of Rs 3,334 crore as grant-in-aid to be spent over a period of five years.

Under this scheme, technical and financial assistance are being provided to the states and UTs for establishing SWAN to connect all headquarters up to block level via district and sub-divisional headquarters in a vertical hierarchical structure with a minimum bandwidth capacity of 2 mbps per link.

Each state and UT can enhance the bandwidth up to 34 mbps between state and district headquarters and up to 8 mbps between district and block headquarters depending upon the utilization.

SWAN is envisaged as converged backbone network for data, voice and video communications throughout a state and UT.

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