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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Centre to develop infrastructure along country’s northern border

Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 20, 2014
First Published: 00:26 IST(20/8/2014) | Last Updated: 00:30 IST(20/8/2014)

In the backdrop of China’s People’s Liberation Army’s frequent transgressions across the 4,088 km Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Narendra Modi-led government has decided to speed up infrastructure development on northern borders.

The focus would be on building strategic roads, living habitat borders, advance landing grounds and inland water transport system on the river Brahmaputra.

South Block officials said the defence ministry on August 11 has moved the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) for “quick processing and early sanction” of a military note on upgrading infrastructure on the northern borders.

The move comes even as the Indian security forces were locked off in a face-off with the Chinese PLA in Demchok in eastern Ladakh on August 14 morning for nearly an hour at around 7am.

The defence ministry has asked for three engineer regiments for the maintenance of the fence on the 740 km Line of Control  with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir and raising of 207 utility helicopter squadron for logistics purposes.

Maintenance of the fence has become a priority as heavy snow in upper reaches of Kashmir provides gaps for infiltrators from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Defence ministry officials say the note on upgrading border infrastructure was prepared by the tri-services for the CCS in September 2010 under the previous UPA regime but has been hanging fire since then due to want of a decision.

The note apparently talks about building of 73 strategic roads in Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh. The note recommends a “living habitat border”, which means that permanent structures should be constructed to house the Indian Army and security forces guarding the borders.

It is understood that the paper deals with faster upgrade of advance landing grounds for aircraft and helicopters for faster reaction time to any developments on the LAC.

The note also recommends that Brahmaputra be used for Inland Water Transport (IWT) purposes for moving military supplies along the river to north Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.


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