Arunachal has always been a sensitive state with China often claiming it as its territory.
DELHI: Arunachal Pradesh governor Lt Gen (retd) Nirbhay Sharma has
sounded a security alert along the Sino-Indian border and sought the
PM's intervention to relook at the government's rehabilitation policy in
In a communique to the prime minister's office last
week, the governor warned the government of a "thinning out of
population along the Line of Actual Control" which could have serious
long-term security implications for the country. Sharma has suggested
setting up of a Border Area Security and Development Authority.
"This issue needs to be addressed urgently or else apart from a
constant threat of ingress, gradual assimilation of our area by China is
along the cards, on the lines already witnessed in north Myanmar," said
the note to PMO.
The governor, a former military strategist having served in north-east
and J&K during his 40-year career with the Army, has suggested
making all of the approximately 50,000 civilian population in bordering
villages along LAC as "part of the security forces" deployed there.
"The developmental plan of the border belt has to be reviewed in a big
way," the governor emphasised, and suggested that paramilitary forces
and the Army deployed on the LAC should share common infrastructure,
communication, health and other logistical facilities with the
villagers. "This project should be addressed in totality and on a war
footing against firm time-lines," the note said.
The need for making the border population part of the security
structure has been felt necessary considering the 'tremendous'
development across the border by China which has constructed road, rail
and air connectivity right up to the border. Sharma has produced visual
evidences to corroborate his assertion. On the Indian side "most of our
road-heads are more than 50-70 km from the LAC".
Arunachal has always been a sensitive state for the country with China
often claiming it as its territory. In 2008, the government through the
PM's special economic package of Rs 37,000 crore laid emphasis on
development of infrastructure in the state which has at least 13 of its
17 districts touching international borders.
Picking holes in
the existing development initiatives, Sharma said the thrust of
development under the Border Area Development Programme peters out as it
ascends towards the LAC. "Consequently, there is a thinning out of the
border population which comes down to the lower heights to seek better
opportunities," he adds.
The governor has suggested keeping the
borders out of bounds for tourists and instead compensate the local
population for their limited means of livelihood. The border belt along
LAC comprises around 100 villages.
Lt Gen Sharma has stressed
the need to have a unified security apparatus to coordinate operations
of all security forces deployed in the region and the Centre and state
As part of the PM's special economic package
announced earlier, two airports are being constructed at Tezu and
Daporijo. The Tezu airport is expected to begin operation this year
providing much needed air-connectivity to the state. For military
operations, the work is under way to upgrade the Advanced Landing
Grounds at Pasighat, Ziro, Aalo, Mechuka, Tuting, Walong, Vijoynagar and