In 1989 territory was transferred from West Siang district to East Siang. A decade later, in 1999, the district was bifurcated to make Upper Siang district. East Siang district has a long ancient history related with the Chutiya Kingdom. It was probably under Chutiya chieftain rule from a long time, and came under Birpal’s rule in the 12th century.
Pasighat is the headquarters of East Siang district in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Situated at the eastern foothills of the Himalayas at 155 meters above mean sea level, Pasighat is Arunachal’s oldest town. The Government of India included Pasighat in the Smart Cities Mission development scheme in June, 2017.
Pasighat was founded in 1911 A.D. by the British Raj as a gateway to administrative convenience of the greater Abor Hills and the north area in general. Primarily there were settlements of Adi tribesmen who are still living in the villages in and around Pasighat. Year 2011 (January) marked 100 years of its existence.
Cognizance of Pasighat emerged due to the last Anglo-Abor War that was fought in 1912 subsequent to fourth Anglo-Abor War in 1894. This necessitated the first ever administrative headquarters being established here with an Assistant Political Officer posted. In the post-independent Era, Pasighat is credited with the first Airfield (near Paglek, P.I. Line) established in 1946.
Other forms of later infrastructural development include:-
- The first Agricultural Institute in Arunachal Pradesh was also established at Pasighat in 1950.
- General Hospital (estb. 1954, although some claim it as old as the town itself)
- Co-operative society Ltd (1957)
- Nurse Training Centre (affiliated to General Hospital)
- Jawaharlal Nehru College (established: 4 July 1964) – The first ever College in Arunachal Pradesh
- All India Radio Station at Pasighat (established: 1966) – The first ever in Arunachal Pradesh.
Early proponents for shifting the state capital from Shillong (the then NEFA), underlined Pasighat’s better infrastructure. However, the privilege was lost to the present capital Itanagar in 1974. The only significant development in Pasighat that came after that was the College Of Horticulture and Forestry Central Agriculture University established on 7 March 2001.
The district headquarters are located at Pasighat. East Siang district occupies an area of 4,005 square kilometres (1,546 sq mi)
There are 5 Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly constituencies located in this district: Panging, Nari-Koyu, Pasighat West, Pasighat East, and Mebo. All of these are part of Arunachal East Lok Sabha constituency.
According to the 2011 census East Siang district has a population of 99,214. This gives it a ranking of 615th in India (out of a total of 640). The district has a population density of 27 inhabitants per square kilometre (70/sq mi). Its population growth rate over the decade 2001–2011 was 13.3%. East Siang has a sex ratio of 962 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 73.54%.
|Population of East Siang District as per 2011 census||Tribe wise population of East Siang District|
|Urban||24,656||Mishmi||163(only Aohali village in East Siang District)|
|Total literacy rate||54.28% ( Excluding 06 year old)|
|Density||27 persons per sq.km.|
|Sex ratio||983 female per 1000 males.|
Languages spoken include Adi, Mishing of the Sino-Tibetan tongue with approximately 140 000 speakers, written in both the Tibetan and Latin scripts; and Galo, an endangered language with 30 000 speakers, also in the Sino-Tibetan language family.