Sinlung /
24 October 2012

Northeast Border Residents Complain Over Apathy By Govt

New Delhi, Oct 24 : Residents of Bumla district in northeastern Arunachal Pradesh are demanding an end to corruption and complained of apathy towards them by the state government.

Bumla is located at around 37 kilometres from Tawang, which China claims as 'southern Tibet.'

Most experts agree there is little danger of a conventional war breaking out between India and China, but chances of clashes at the border are a real risk that could make solving the border dispute difficult.

A student, Chirin, expressed his dissatisfaction over the role played by the government, demanded a CBI enquiry against every department and said that the residents are faced with several problems.

"We have supported and loved India, we voted for them but in return the Indian government did nothing for us. The funds provided by the Indian government for the area are all engulfed by the local MLAs. CBI is necessary here. There should be mediapersons here. Enquiry should be done," said Chirin.

People of the district complained about the poor road infrastructure, lack of technology, schools and colleges.

Tourism has dropped since the army started widening the road to Tawang, painstakingly slow work that can only be done during a four-month window between winter and the rainy season, Across Arunachal, anger is rising as educated youth feel forgotten by India, as they look across the more-developed Chinese side.

Mustak Singh, a leader, said the condition of the roads is appalling, and tourism in the state has declined, as a result.

"This area is so beautiful but the road conditions are so terrible here. It's a good tourist destination but since two years there had been no tourism here because of the poor road infrastructure. A tourist from Kolkata calls me to ask whether the road conditions have improved or not. I said its still in progress. He replied saying that he wants to come to Tawang but due to road problems he is not coming," said Singh.

The residents claimed that government funds were not being used correctly as far as development of the area was concerned.

China has vastly improved roads and infrastructure on its side, facilitating its military movements, and has placed advanced, nuclear-capable intermediate range missiles in the Tibetan area, according to a 2010 U.S. Department of Defence report.

In 2008, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited Arunachal for the first time and promised four billion dollars to build rail and road infrastructure, set to make troop movement easier.

But a 20-hour, 500-km (300-mile) rattling drive up to Tawang from the region's biggest city Guwahati provides proof of India's neglect of one of its most strategic border states. It still has no airport, power supply is erratic and telecommunications unreliable.

Despite decades of mistrust, China is now India's biggest trade partner. Bilateral trade that soared to $74 billion in 2011 from just a few billion dollars a decade ago underlined the importance of better relations between the Asian neighbours.


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