Exploring the Rising Sun - Arunachal Pradesh's Growing Infrastructure
Strategic Location and Connectivity
Arunachal Pradesh's strategic location gives it a unique advantage for trade and commerce. With the longest international border in Northeast India, spanning 1,817 km, the state offers opportunities for seamless export and import-related activities. Additionally, it has one of the highest land banks in India, with 18 lakh hectares of cultivable land available for horizontal and vertical expansion of cropped areas.
Connectivity within the state has also seen significant improvements. With 13 National Highways and approximately 4,844 km of roads constructed in the last three years; the government aims to achieve a network of 5,000 km of roads soon. Furthermore, domestic air connectivity is provided through airports in Pasighat, Tezu, and Hollongi, and helicopter services are available in major towns. The existence of seven operational Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) facilitates better access to remote areas.
Arunachal Pradesh is blessed with abundant hydropower potential. It harnesses over 40% of India's total hydropower potential, amounting to approx 50 GW of capacity, along with 9% of India's small hydropower potential. With eight major river basins receiving regular high annual rainfall, the state offers tremendous opportunities for hydropower projects.
The ongoing 2,000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydropower Project and the approved 2,880 MW Dibang Hydropower Project are significant steps towards achieving the state's potential in this sector. Additionally, 13 upcoming hydropower projects with a combined capacity of around 12,000 MW are set to further bolster the state's energy resources.
Agriculture & Food Processing
Agriculture remains a vital sector in Arunachal Pradesh, with 70% of the population engaged in agricultural activities. The state boasts a rich crop biodiversity, providing a sustainable food supply. Approximately 20,000 hectares of land are under organic cultivation, with the potential for further expansion to 3 lakh hectares. Key crops like Kiwi, Orange, Apple, Pineapple, Large Cardamom, Ginger, and Turmeric have substantial surpluses, creating opportunities for processing industries.
The Mega Food Park at Dolikoto in the Papum Pare district, spread across 75 acres, is harnessing the potential of the Food Processing sector and providing employment opportunities for around 4,000 people. Arunachal Pradesh is the largest producer of Kiwis in India, accounting for approximately 56% of the total production. Additionally, 'Naara-Aaba,' the country's first-ever organic Kiwi wine, was launched in 2017, showcasing the state's innovative spirit.
Hydrocarbons & Minerals
Arunachal Pradesh holds significant potential in the hydrocarbon and mineral sectors. With valuable resources of petroleum and natural gas concentrated in the Ningru and Doom Dooma areas, the state contributes to 18% of India's total hydrocarbon reserves in the surrounding region. Moreover, 73% of the resources in the surrounding belt remain under the 'yet to discover' category.
The presence of 18 oil fields and the potential for a 2-4 million metric tons per annum oil refinery add to the state's hydrocarbon strength. A proposed 61.4 km long natural gas pipeline from the Kumchai Oil Field to Kusijan is poised to further enhance the state's energy infrastructure. The Kumchai oil field alone boasts approximately 2800 million cubic meters of natural gas reserves.
Tourism and Beyond
Arunachal Pradesh's pristine natural beauty, diverse culture, and spiritual sites offer unique tourism experiences. The state's turbulent streams, lofty mountains, and snow-clad peaks provide a picturesque backdrop for adventure, wildlife, and eco-tourism. Tawang Monastery, India's largest monastery, and Parshuram Kund are major attractions for religious tourism.
With eight wildlife sanctuaries and two national parks, Arunachal Pradesh is a haven for nature enthusiasts. The state's government has implemented an Ecotourism Policy to develop infrastructure and promote it as a premier ecotourism destination. Moreover, there is untapped potential for film tourism, corporate tourism, wellness tourism, and other innovative experiences such as wine tasting and orchid tourism.
Arunachal Pradesh's infrastructure development is paving the way for its socio-economic growth. The government's focus on connectivity, hydropower, agriculture, and tourism sectors is attracting investment and creating avenues for employment. As the rising sun illuminates this beautiful state, Arunachal Pradesh emerges as a promising destination for global investments.