Special project for development of border areas on priority: Arunachal CM Pema Khandu

Itanagar, Dec 22: Amid reports of China building villages along the border with Arunachal Pradesh, the state has taken up a comprehensive development project to build infrastructure in villages in borderlands to stop people from migrating from the remote areas.

The state government has submitted a Rs. 4,000 crore proposal to the union home ministry Amit Shah to help build infrastructure in all the border villages.

“The proposal has been already cleared by the ministry after a highest level meeting and will now go before the Union Cabinet. Once it gets cleared, border areas will be developed with all amenities so that migration can be stopped,” Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu said in an interview with the media.

This project aims at building roads, health centres, and educational institutions, besides creating new safe water supply schemes and electrifying villages, and upgrading mobile connectivity, CM Khandu continues.

Chief Minister added that he had also requested the Central government for special 4G towers in the border villages. It has been reported that many border places catch Chinese mobile signals but are unable to connect with Indian mobile or data service providers.

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Arunachal CM Khandu has been strongly pitching for the development of border areas to stop the migration of the border populace looking for a better quality of life.

The Arunachal Pradesh government is also developing three ‘model villages’ in the Indo-Tibet border areas – one each in the eastern, central, and one western part of the state.

Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein who is also in charge of the finance department, while presenting the state budget for 2021-22 said that “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 the Eastern, Central and one Western part of the State. I propose to earmark a fund of Rs. 30 Crore for the same.”

“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 social-economic-cultural needs of village life while establishing the model villages,” CM Khandu pointed out.

Responding to a question on media reports about China constructing a second village (cluster of at least 60 buildings) in the Arunachal Pradesh, approximately 6 kilometres within India, and the CM informed that he had recently visited Shi-Yomi district and had interaction with the personnel of Army, paramilitary forces and local residents of Monigong area, where, reportedly the village was built.

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“There is no such development as reported by the army, paramilitary forces, and local residents. Whatever construction has happened is within the Tibet-China territory,” CM added.

The reports claimed that the new enclave did not exist in 2019 according to the satellite images; a year later, it can be seen. As per the reports, the Chinese enclave was within the Shi Yomi district of Arunachal Pradesh and was constructed between March 2019 and February 2021.

Earlier in November this year, a report of the US Department of Defense confirmed that in 2020, China built a large 100-home civilian village which it said was built on “disputed territory” between the Chinese Tibet Autonomous Region and Arunachal Pradesh in the eastern sector of the LAC.

In its report to the US Congress, Pentagon said that in 2020 China had built a large 100-home civilian village inside disputed territory between China’s Tibet Autonomous Region and Arunachal Pradesh state in the eastern sector of the LAC.