Amit Shah in Arunachal, a week after China renamed land near Kibithoo

Apr 10, 2023 11:11 AM IST

The emerging big picture of Modi government strengthening border defences with the local support is a sea change from Indian position two decades ago.

A week after China renamed a piece of forest clearing north of Kibithoo in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh, Home Minister Amit Shah will be launching the “Vibrant Villages Program” at the same Kibithoo town today as part of Modi government’s efforts to link all the border villages in states sharing Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

Home Minister Amit Shah
Home Minister Amit Shah

The 4800 crore border village development plan which includes a 2500 crore component for road connectivity between 2023-2026 is designed to cement border defences through better roads and infrastructure and reversing the migration of locals from these towns. The migration of locals from these border villages has been noted with concern in Uttarakhand State which shares a 345 km boundary with Tibet under China and is the closest border to New Delhi.

We're now on WhatsApp. Click to join.

The village program will not only link with border villages but also provide trans valley connectivity in states of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and the Union Territory of Ladakh. Dove-tailed into this initiative is the Modi government’s decision to raise seven more battalions of ITBP with 47 new outposts and 12 staging camps at the cost of 1800 crore to guard the India-Tibet border from any Chinese PLA transgressions.

It is quite evident that the ITBP with the exception of annual rest and recreation of some battalions will remain on heights above 15000 feet to guard the LAC, and work in synergy with the Indian Army, from Karakoram Pass in East Ladakh to Barahoti Plains in Uttarakhand to NathuLa in Sikkim to Zemithang, the last border village of Arunachal along the LAC.

The emerging big picture of Modi government strengthening border defences with the local support is a sea change from Indian position two decades ago when Indian Army and the Indian diplomatic establishment did not want border roads to be developed lest the PLA made a run towards the Indian hinterland.

While the legacy of 1962 war still haunts the Indian military and diplomatic establishment, the Modi government has decided to counter the challenge posed by China post May 2020 transgressions in East Ladakh. Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit to the Walong War Memorial today will also send a message to China that new India has not forgotten the 1962 perfidy by Communist China.

"Exciting news! Hindustan Times is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!
Get Latest India News along with Latest News and Top Headlines from India and around the world

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

Story Saved
Live Score
Saved Articles
My Reads
My Offers
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, October 04, 2023
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Register Free and get Exciting Deals