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Has India granted franchise to Chinese govt to build roads, asks Congress

Congress leader Tom Vadakkan suggested relaxing a criteria that a village with a population of at least 100 can have a government-built road.

india Updated: Jan 11, 2018 21:41 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
India-China ties,Chinese road in India,Chinese troops
A Chinese soldier stands guard on the Chinese side of the ancient Nathu La border crossing between India and China. (AFP File Photo)

Attacking the Centre over China’s reported attempt to build a road in the Tuting area of Arunachal Pradesh, the Congress on Thursday said it happened due to “intelligence failure” and asked if New Delhi had granted a “franchise” to Beijing to construct roads.

Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan wondered what defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and home minister Rajnath Singh were doing when China “reportedly built 1.3-km-long road in the Indian territory”.

“It was an attempt by China to foster Doklam 2.0,” he said.

On a sarcastic note, he asked if the government had granted a franchise to China to construct road in India.

“My simple question to the Government of India is have they granted a franchise to the Chinese government to build roads in India, in our territory? Why is this happening?

“What was our intelligence doing? What were our defence minister, home minister doing? It’s total intelligence failure,” he told reporters.

Vadakkan suggested relaxing a Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) criteria that a village with a population of at least 100 can have a government-built road.

“Bishing, the village where China reportedly constructed the road, has 16 households and a population of 54, which is why there is no road there,” he said.

“The Congress wants to give a positive suggestion to the government. Taking in account national security, PMGSY norms for remote areas should be relaxed and roads must be built to prevent such cases in the future,” he added.

Vadakkan alleged that “false bravado, chest thumping and TV studio warfare” were the tools the Modi government employed to manage headlines when it came to critical issues of national security.

“The Modi government has displayed a heedless, incautious and short-sighted attitude, when it comes to such issues of national security...National security is being ignored,” he alleged.

Vadakkan cited the alleged rise in the number of Chinese transgressions into the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control, scrapping of a Rs 32,000-crore project to build 12 advanced minesweepers and nuclear submarine INS Arihant reportedly suffering major damage due to “human error” to drive his point home.

“The defence minister should clarify the factual matrix on INS Arihant and when will it be operational again. Shockingly, its absence from operations came to the Modi government’s attention during the Doklam standoff.

First Published: Jan 11, 2018 20:32 IST