GUWAHATI: Cooking gas has wended its way to the “disconnected” Vijaynagar circle of Arunachal Pradesh on the Myanmar border, 57 years after the first Indane LPG connection in India was released on October 22, 1965 in Kolkata.
Two days ago, an agency, based in the Miao subdivision of Changlang district, delivered LPG cylinders to 15 families in Vijaynagar, 157 km away. Locals celebrated it. Minister Kamlung Mossang said the service fulfilled a long-felt need of the people. “They rely entirely on firewood for cooking and they faced a lot of difficulties especially during the rainy season,” he said.
Antu Ngemu, the gas agency proprietor, said the consumers were overjoyed. Nearly 500 others applied for the LPG connection but their documents are yet to reach the agency. “We haven’t been able to extend the service to them due to issues like logistics and documentation. Even for one bank transaction, you have to wait for several days,” Antu said.
Usina Yobin said her father was so ecstatic that he called her up to break the news of the arrival of the red cylinders. “He received the cylinders, not the oven which will be delivered soon, but that couldn’t take away his joy,” Usina told this newspaper from Jairampur in the district where she was married off in 2019.
The BSNL reached Vijaynagar in 2020 but one can get through only if lucky. This reporter could not reach any of the LPG consumers despite multiple attempts. After her wedding, Usina had to walk for over 100 km and five days along with her husband until reaching a road where she hopped into a car to go to his house. “Life is very difficult in Vijaynagar. Locals walk 15-20 km to go to a forest to collect firewood,” she said.
Spread across 8,000 sq km, Vijaynagar was discovered in 1961 by the Assam Rifles during an expedition “Srijit II”. It was carried out under the leadership of Major General A S Guraya, the then Inspector General. He had named the valley after his son, Vijay. (AIR NEWS)