Arunachal to develop 3 villages on China border to check ‘foreign misadventure’
The Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to develop three villages along the state’s border with China as part of measures to “check against any foreign misadventure”.
The decision was announced by deputy chief minister-cum-finance minister Chowna Mein while tabling the state’s annual budget in the Arunachal Pradesh assembly on Wednesday.
“I am happy to announce a major initiative to develop three model villages on a pilot basis in the Indo-Tibet China border areas, one each in eastern, central and western part of the state. I propose to earmark a fund of ₹30 crore for the same,” the budget speech read.
“These model villages would serve as pilot projects which will be further expanded to cover many more such villages. The scheme would encompass innovative ways to dovetail socio-economic cultural needs of village life while establishing the model villages,” it added.
Mein said that services of border guarding forces would be roped in to design and implement the scheme.
Arunachal Pradesh shares an 1126km-long border with China. Due to high altitude and inhospitable terrain, most of these border areas are not clearly marked and there have been reports of incursions in past.
In January this year, there were reports that China had constructed a village in the border area in Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh. Indian officials later stated that the area has been under Chinese control since 1959.
“It is of critical importance that areas near the international border are rapidly developed so that a permanent and patriotic border population acts as a check against any foreign misadventure,” Mein said in his speech.
“Development of border villages will remain an important priority of our government. We will continue to work for the comprehensive development of border villages by providing them good road connectivity, power, water supply, health and education,” he added.
Mein proposed the allocation of ₹5 crore to repair foot suspension bridges in border areas used by the border guarding forces for patrolling.
The minister also earmarked ₹40 crore to start a border village illumination programme, which would involve setting up small and micro hydro-power projects in remote border areas.