Itanagar, April 29 (IANS) Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Kalikho Pul on Friday called for developing road connectivity between Lumla in the state's Tawang district and Tashigang in Bhutan to facilitate direct trade.
Pul's plea came during a meeting with India's Ambassador to Bhutan Jaideep Sarkar here in this capital of the mountainous Arunachal Pradesh.
"Arunachal and Bhutan share more than just a border -- we also share cultural and religious histories, particularly the communities living in Tawang and West Kameng," the chief minister said.
Stressing on developing the historical, cultural and trade links between Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan by establishing border trade centres, Pul stressed on building direct road connectivity from Tawang to Bhutan, which will also provide the shortest connectivity to Guwahati via the Darranga land customs station in Assam's Nalbari district.
He hoped that development of this route would enable agriculture and horticulture export from Lumla sub-division besides the newly created Bongkhar circle headquarters.
The chief minister pointed out that opening the road from Tawang to Darrang via Tashigang in Bhutan would bypass Sela pass -- that often gets blocked due to heavy snowfall during winter and landslides in summer, and cut travel time to Guwahati by almost six hours, an official release said.
Eulogising Bhutan's success story in hydropower and tourism development, Pul stressed on initiatives for conducting study tours to learn the process of planning and execution adopted in the country.
Ambassador Sarkar told the chief minister that he would convey the matter to the king of Bhutan for a road from Tawang to Bhutan.
Sarkar said the Indian embassy in Bhutan was ready to host delegates from Arunachal coming for study tours to learn about hydropower and tourism development in the country.
As a way to boost tourist flow in Arunachal, the Indian envoy offered to talk to tour operators and the tourism department in the country to change the existing Bhutan-Nepal tour package to Bhutan-Arunachal package.