Uttarakhand China

Dehradun, May 26: China is intensifying its construction of border defense villages near Uttarakhand, adding to the ongoing border standoff with India, according to sources. These border villages, consisting of 250 homes, are being built approximately 11 kilometers away from the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Additionally, China has also been involved in the construction of around 55-56 houses, supervised by the People's Liberation Army (PLA), located roughly 35 kilometers from the LAC adjacent to Uttarakhand. Notably, China has ambitious plans to construct 400 villages solely in the eastern sector along the border.

Uttarakhand, with a shared 350-kilometer border with China, has been experiencing outward migration from its border villages due to the lack of livelihood opportunities available. These newly constructed villages are large complexes equipped with various facilities. Thus, the Indian Army has been closely monitoring the situation along the LAC, serving as the border between India and China.

In an effort to enhance accessibility to the Lipulekh pass, a critical border post on the India-China border, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has announced plans for the construction of a six-kilometer-long tunnel between Bundi and Garbiyang on the Ghatiabagar-Lipulekh road in Uttarakhand.

According to a senior BRO official, the contract for the survey work of the tunnel has been awarded to ATINOK India Consultants, with the final proposal expected within a year. The estimated Rs 2,000-crore project is anticipated to commence in the next four to five years.

As preparations are underway, the BRO has converted the border road from Bundi to Garbiyang into a single lane, while the remaining section will be double-laned.

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The Border Roads Organisation officer revealed that the border road, which was commissioned in 2020, is currently undergoing black-topping and double-laning. Most of the double-laning work has already been completed, ensuring improved connectivity in the region.

Earlier this year, in April, the Indian Military expressed grave concerns over China’s extensive construction activities in the Amo Chu river valley in Bhutan. The strategic Doklam plateau, which lies adjacent to Amo Chu, is of particular significance as it provides a direct line of sight for China’s PLA to India’s Siliguri corridor.

Pictures revealed permanent habitation for PLA troops, along with communication towers, in Amo Chu. In recent months, close to 1,000 permanent military hutments and numerous temporary sheds have been constructed to accommodate thousands of PLA troops.

India’s relations with China deteriorated following the Galwan Valley clash in 2020, resulting in the loss of 20 Indian soldiers’ lives. Both countries have engaged in multiple rounds of military talks to address the border tensions. India has stressed that normalizing relations with China is contingent upon resolving the border issues.

Meanwhile, China has attempted to portray stability in Ladakh and has advocated for a move toward normalization between the two countries.

However, it is not the first time China has attempted to breach the normality in India’s boarding areas. Back in November 2021, satellite images unveiled the construction of a second enclave or cluster comprising at least 60 buildings in Arunachal Pradesh China. The enclave did not exist in 2019 but emerged a year later, lying approximately 93 kilometers east of a China-constructed village in Arunachal Pradesh.

This encroachment, previously reported and confirmed, is situated approximately 6 kilometers within India in the region between the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the International Boundary. India has consistently maintained its claim over this territory, although the images do not provide clarity on whether the enclave is currently occupied.