Once again disregarding China’s long standing claim of Arunachal being a part of China’s southern Tibet region, Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu categorically asserted that his state shares a border with Tibet, not China. In a recent interview to The Hindu, the BJP leader said, “It is a fact that Arunachal does not share a direct border with China. The direct border is with Tibet. Nobody can erase history. The world knows that China annexed Tibet”.
This is however, not the first time the Arunachal CM has referred to LAC in state as India-Tibet border. After the violent faceoff between India and China at Galwan Valley in Ladakh, Pema Khandu had made a similar statement raising questions about China’s occupancy of Tibet.
With a hostile neighbour breathing down India’s neck, the Centre is boosting road infrastructure in the Himalayan Arunachal, specifically the Frontier Highway along the border to facilitate faster movement of troops during a war-like situation and give locals more accessibility by default.
If one goes by the history of conflicts since 1962 and unfounded claims over Arunachal Pradesh, it is imperative to protect our homeland. Many stretches of the border are indeed inaccessible. This is why we are pushing for the Frontier Highway along the 1,100 km LAC to facilitate faster movement of troops, said CM Pema Khandu to English daily The Hindu.
Arunachal deprived of foreign funding due to China’s interference: CM Pema Khandu
Speaking on the state staying deprived of foreign funding due to China’s interference, the CM said that foreign institutions including World Bank and Asian Development Bank, which provide loans at cheaper interest rates, do not extend loans to Arunachal. This he said was hurting his state. However, the Centre has been providing assistance to projects such as the ongoing 1,600 km Trans-Arunachal Highway project.
He said the Centre had discussed this issue and stressed that Arunachal must be given special attention. This led to the up-gradation of eight 1962-built advanced landing grounds and the construction of 1,600 km long Trans-Arunachal Highway. The work for Trans-Arunachal Highway is progressing well despite geographical challenges, the CM said.
Central Govt’s Invest India to have a special cell for Arunachal Pradesh
Khandu said Arunachal is a resourceful state but communication, be it road, railway, air or even digital connectivity, is the biggest bottleneck. Therefore, emphasising on the need of good connectivity in the state, the CM said that the Centre is mulling to create a special desk for Arunachal for investment under Invest India.
“The DPR of East-West Industrial Corridor, which will connect east of Arunachal with the west of Arunachal, has been prepared. It will be sent to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highway for funds approval. As regards the Frontier Highway, the Central government will decide if MHA, Ministry of Rural Development or Defence Ministry will fund it”, said Pema Khandu.
Though tourism has been Arunachal’s focus area of investment, the CM said that agriculture and the allied sectors have huge potentials. Khandu speaks about the hydropower potentials of the state and how with the financial assistance from the Centre, this sector is also being developed rapidly.
We are power surplus now but we don’t have the grid to distribute power adequately across the State. Things are changing with new substations and transmission lines being installed, added the CM.