By Pradeep Kumar
ITANAGAR, July 11: Country’s security is under threat as people living in hilly areas of Arunachal Pradesh along Indo-China border are shifting to urban areas for education and health facilities for lack of road connectivity making their areas no man’s land for China to occupy every year.
Hinting this while taking part in Union Budget discussion on Wednesday, Lok Sabha member Tapir Gao said that China had intruded into Indian Territory at Bishing village under Tuting sub-division in Upper Siang district in 2017 and built about 2-km road. Regrettably, road never reached hilly areas as Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) roads are meant for villages having 250 population as per its guidelines.
Appreciating Prime Minister Naraendra Modi’s vision to create 5 trillion dollar Indian economy by 2024, he said that wrong PMGSY indicated some lapses in the Budget which should be reviewed to benefit Arunachalees, who serve as sentinel of the sensitive frontier, he argued.
(The MP is right as Arunachal are-wise is 14th largest state of India and largest in NE India but has thin population who live in far-flung remote areas. With hardly few households in higher reach of a hill make a village.)
Thus, the PMGSY guidelines should be changed to bring this state within its purview to benefit Arunachalees, who serve as sentinel of the sensitive frontier, to justify the never known before Budget prepared this time, he argued.
Arunachal Pradesh, sandwiched between China and India, was deprived of development funds from International Development Bank, World Bank and Japan International Corporation Agency due to objection by China for none of its fault, but despite promise of Manmohan Singh to compensate the loss nothing has been received as yet”, he said while seeking special dispensation from country’s first woman Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Referring to scarcity of essential commodities, he said that cement per bag is sold for Rs 7,000 and salt per kg Rs 200 at Vijoynagar, bordering Myanmar in Changlang district and cement per bag is sold for Rs 6,000 & salt for Rs 100 per kg at Singa in Upper Siang district bordering China for lack of road communication. This underscores the need to change PMGSY guidelines to help Arunchalees avail fruits of developments, he said.
It may be recalled that state NPP president Gicho Kabak and vice president Nima Sangey Saling during a meeting with Gao at New Delhi recently had urged him to raise China road building issue in the Parliament and received his assurance.
The Chinese excavators had reached at the highest point in the area located at about 4000-ft and about an eight to 10 days walk from the Bishing village and had built 1.25-km of road inside Indian Territory,” as confirmed by the Tuting ADC in-charge K Apang.
India shares 3,488-km border with China, including 1,126-km along Arunachal Pradesh boundary.