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Border areas need to be developed: Antony

Stating that all border areas need to be developed, Defence Minister A K Antony today said secure and non-porous international borders must remain the topmost priority of the Centre.

Itanagar: Stating that all border areas
need to be developed, Defence Minister A K Antony today said
secure and non-porous international borders must remain the
topmost priority of the Centre.

"We are aware of the challenges which people living in
border areas face and it is our collective duty to ensure that
our border areas are developed as any other part of the
country," Antony said here.

Referring to the highly-sensitive nature of the state,
he said that the importance of a secure, non-porous
international border must continue to be the topmost priority
area of the Centre.

"Arunachalees have always been known to be fiercely
patriotic and yield to none in their love for the motherland,"
Antony said while addressing the silver jubilee celebration of
statehood day of this frontier state here this morning.

The proposals submitted by the state government to PMO
and Planning Commission to provide connectivity to 22
unconnected administrative centres, construction of foot
suspension bridges, log bridges and porter tracks in border
areas, as well as providing drinking water facilities in
border areas are highly relevant and will definitely be
given a serious consideration, he added.

Considering the strategic importance of the state
which shares 1,680 square kilometres of international border
with China, Myanmar and Bhutan, the defence ministry had taken
a decision on the funding of land acquisition for the company
locations of the first battalion of the Arunachal Scouts and
early operationalisation of all the Advanced Landing Grounds
(ALGs) in the state, the minister disclosed.

"We have also decided to set up National Institute of
Mountaineering and Adventure Sports (NIMAS) at Dirang in West
Kameng district and the ministry has already cleared the
raising of the second battalion of the Arunachal Scouts," he

The NIMAS will definitely motivate the local youths to
take up adventure sports in large numbers, he added.

Clad in traditional Nyishi attire, Antony said he was
surprised to see the fast pace of development in the state in
recent years.

The Centre and the state government were making
concerted efforts to ensure all-round development of the state
and many ambitious projects have already been sanctioned with
more in the pipeline, he disclosed.

"We need to focus on specific areas like
infrastructure development, tourism, agriculture, horticulture
and police modernisation. The Prime Minister massive package
announced for the state during 2008 will develop and modernise
the state in the years to come," he pointed out.

With Arunachal poised to be the future power house of
the country, he said after operationalisation of various
under-construction power projects the state could earn revenue
to the tune of Rs 10,000 crores annually.

"However, the real challenge lies in ensuring that
these projects get implemented as per schedule and
distribution of this wealth among the people of the state is
equitable," he said while pointing out that ecological
concerns should also be taken care of.


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