PM urged to speed up preparedness to thwart China

Lawmakers representing the state of Arunachal Pradesh have asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take steps to prevent further territorial transgressions by China.

New Delhi: Lawmakers representing the state of Arunachal Pradesh have asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take steps to prevent further territorial transgressions by China.

Expressing their concern over Beijing`s recent aggressive moves along the Sino-Indian boundary, including frequent cross-border incursions in the Arunachal sector, the three Members of Parliament-Ninong Ering, Takam Sanjoy and Mukut Mithi - suggested three immediate steps to secure the 1,080-kilometer-long Arunachal border with Tibet to thwart transgressions by Beijing.

These suggestions include:

1. Review of all ongoing surface connectivity projects along the Sino-Indian border, particularly in the Chaglagam sector, to ensure defence preparedness. They insisted that a deadline should be set for completion of these projects.

2. The Prime Minister`s Office (PMO) should constitute a committee to study the problems of villagers in border areas and suggest ways and means to provide basic amenities. This, they said, would stop the villagers from taking the painful decision to migrate from their traditional habitations.

3. Ensure proper supply lines to the forward posts of defence forces, as it is difficult for the state government to do the same because of a paucity of resources.

The suggestions from the lawmakers come in the wake of the Peoples` Liberation Army (PLA) having repeated face-offs with the Indian Army in the last six months.

The latest infiltration by Chinese troops took place in the Chaglagam Sector of Arunachal Pradesh.

The three MPs` said Arunachal Pradesh is in a disadvantageous position in relation to China as the Arunachal side of Himalayas is marked with high hills, deep gorges, and dense forests and is largely uninhabited contrary to the Tibet side, which is a plateau.

They also said that the population of Arunachal is only 2.95 percent of the total North East population, whereas its area is 32.83 percent of the Northeastern region.

"Therefore, in order to secure our borders with China, the focus should be on the development of the border areas of the state," they said.

"While we share the developmental concerns and priorities of the rest of the nation, the requirements of the state which are unique on account of its strategic location, limited availability of resources and very low baseline of development need to be met through special treatment on priority," they added.

"Due to the absence of proper social and physical infrastructure, the population in remote border areas of the state have the obvious tendency to migrate to better developed lower reaches, leaving strategic locations unpopulated," they said.

Though the state government has taken steps with its limited resources to set up administrative centres and circles, the absence of proper physical and social infrastructure results in non-availability of basic amenities like drinking water, schools and public health centres, they added.

The absence of connectivity, they said, makes life in these areas intolerably difficult, and therefore, they emphasised the immediate need of development of all-weather roads to connect the habitations of small villages, particularly in areas prone to Chinese incursions.

They claimed that the incursions by Chinese troops have so far been taking place in the Tawang region in Western Arunachal.

They concluded by saying that the people of Arunachal Pradesh have a deep and abiding commitment to guard the nation`s territorial integrity, but cautioned that this alone cannot stop the Chinese incursions.