Itanagar: With China ramping up its infrastructure near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), work will begin soon on construction and restoration of advanced landing grounds in the border state of Arunachal Pradesh this year.
Chief Minister Nabam Tuki said work would begin this year on construction and restoration of identified advanced landing grounds (ALGs) in the border regions of the state, some of which will also be used for civilian purposes. The sites for ALGs include Tuting, Mechuka, Ziro, Aalo, Pasighat, Walong and Tawang. The ALGs are considered to be strategically importanct in the wake of reports of China improving its infrastructure along the LAC at a rapid pace and their claims on the territory of Arunachal Pradesh.
He said that steps were being taken to improve air connectivity and land had been acquired for an airport near capital Itanagar.
Tuki said, that due to poor road connectivity and other civic facilities, there was steady migration of people living in border areas towards towns and infrastructure was being improved in these places to retain the local population.
“There is a slow migration towards urban areas such as district headquarters. We have also told the union government that there is need to retain them (the local population) in high altitude areas. There is need to provide basic facilities,” Tuki said.
“We are going to give them houses under the rural housing scheme. We are constructing roads and taking steps to improve access to water and electricity. More schools will be opened,” Tuki told a visiting correspondent.
People residing in the border areas are considered the first line of defence and are often the first to notice any foreign intrusion.
Arunachal Pradesh has a 1,080 km border with China, 160 km with Bhutan and 440 km with Myanmar. LAC with China is considered the de facto border.
Tuki said that the central government provides the state assistance under schemes such as the border area development programme.
– Prashant Sood (IANS)