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Arunachal CM demand separate union ministry for mountain states

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on Wednesday called for the creation of a separate union ministry for India’s mountain states, and lamented the Centre’s move to do away with the special category status states.
“Due to geographical and historical reasons, the resources of the mountains, both natural and human, are either under-utilised or ill-utilised,” Tuki said while inaugurating the fourth edition of the Sustainable Mountain Development Summit (SMDS) here.
“Therefore, policy decisions to protect and sustainably harness these resources must be put in place. The role of the union government is paramount in providing an umbrella for all the mountain states, preferably in the form of a separate ministry,” he said.
“Issues and challenges emerging from two very important policy changes — replacement of Planning Commission with NITI Aayog and recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission — need to be discussed and over-viewed specifically with regard to the mountain states,” Tuki said.
Sponsored by the Integrated Mountain Initiative (IMI) and GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) India, this edition of the SMDS, the fourth since 2011, is being hosted by the Sustainable Mountain Development Forum Arunachal Pradesh (SMDFA).
Tuki also emphasised on the crucial role played by the Himalayas in cooling down of Earth.
He, however, regretted the fact that the mountains and its people faced a fragile relation with the majority of the people.
“The mountain people, comprising about 50 million, who are the custodians of the mountains, live a marginalised life in the remote and inaccessible world devoid of all the luxuries of modern development and progress,” the chief minister said.
Mountain people are  portrayed in bad light even in the parliament complained Tuki. Lok Sabha member from Sikkim and IMI councillor P.D. Rai lamented that the country’s mountain states were falling behind on every human development indicator. (IANS)

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