Following chief minister Pema Khandu’s suggestion, the central team which is currently in the state to assess the damages caused by natural calamities throughout the state last year has said it will henceforth visit Arunachal Pradesh immediately after the monsoons have wreaked their havoc, in order to be able to witness the true extent of the losses that the state suffers every year.
Arunachal Pradesh is no stranger to natural calamities, owing to its unique geographical and topographical features. As the CM pointed out to the team led by the joint secretary of the union home affairs ministry, more than half of the state’s population lives in far-flung areas, and transporting relief to such areas is a long, tedious process. Natural disasters like floods and landslides during the monsoon not only destroy roads, bridges and other infrastructure throughout the state every year, but they also claim human lives on a regular basis. As chief secretary Satya Gopal informed the visiting team, the damages in the state amounted to Rs 11,000 crore in the last seven years alone.
However, the state government has so far received only Rs 700 crore as central assistance. It is therefore no surprise that the state government has sought a comprehensive package from the Centre for carrying out post-disaster rebuilding and rehabilitation works. It is the central government’s responsibility to look into the sufferings of the people of this border state which is marred by natural calamities every time the monsoon arrives.