Amidst the longstanding apprehension of Chinese aggression, India has undergone a significant shift in its policy regarding road connectivity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Previously cautious due to concerns about Chinese aggression, India has undertaken a determined effort to push for border infrastructure. In a statement addressing this shift, Union Minister Kiren Rijiju emphasised the importance of strengthening road connectivity in the border areas to enhance security and instill confidence among the Indian population.
In his statement on Tuesday, Rijiju, who also holds the position of Minister of Earth Sciences, underscored the significant progress made, highlighting a notable shift in approach where the “last border village” has now taken precedence for development in the international border areas.
Arunachal Pradesh, which shares international boundaries with Myanmar, China, and Bhutan, has received special attention in terms of road infrastructure. The road construction network expanded from 30,692 km in 2015-16 to a substantial 50,555 km by 2022-23, including 2,506 km of border roads, according to reports. In 2022,the state witnessed a significant focus on infrastructure development, including road construction and the establishment of a greenfield airport. This emphasis on infrastructure came into the spotlight following a clash between Indian and Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Tawang sector of the northeastern state.
Rijiju further claimed that the previous policy of the Congress party was to neglect the development of border areas, citing concerns that infrastructure development could potentially invite territorial transgressions from China.
The Modi government, on the other hand, has taken a proactive stance in prioritizing road development in Arunachal Pradesh, aiming to enhance connectivity, economic growth, and overall well-being of the local communities living in these remote border regions. The Union Minister actively took part in a rally held to commemorate the nine-year tenure of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre and the seven-year administration of Pema Khandu in the state.
During the rally, Rijiju provided reassurance that, prior to 2024, every village in Arunachal Pradesh, including those situated in the border areas, will be connected with a 4G network, facilitating enhanced communication and connectivity.
Also Read: Bridging borders: Kibithu village in Arunachal Pradesh attains 4G connectivity: https://www.borderlens.com/reports/bridging-borders-kibithu-village-in-arunachal-pradesh-attains-4g-connectivity/
Arunachal Pradesh also made significant strides in the aviation sector during 2022, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Donyi Polo Airport in Hollongi. This airport, with a cost of Rs 645 crore, marks the first of its kind in the state capital, aiming to enhance connectivity, trade, and tourism in the hilly region. Additionally, the state witnessed another momentous development with the ongoing construction of the Sela tunnel by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). Situated at an elevation of 13,700 feet, the tunnel is expected to be completed by July 2023, with construction progressing at a rapid pace, as reported by Brig Raman Kumar, the chief engineer of Project Vartak. Once finalised, the Sela tunnel will hold the distinction of being the world’s longest bi-lane tunnel.
Read here: Sela Tunnel Project in Arunachal Set to Transform Tawang Region’s Transport Facilities : https://www.borderlens.com/around-the-web/sela-tunnel-project-in-arunachal-set-to-transform-tawang-regions-transport-facilities/