Measures on to improve infra on Arunachal border: Min

Work on the ambitious 1,656-km Trans- Arunachal highway is scheduled to begin soon.

Shillong: Admitting that infrastructure in the areas along the Indian side of Chinese border were poor, the Arunachal Pradesh government on Friday said though India started developing these areas late, of late the Centre has "taken care" in this regard.

"I agree we started late. The other side (China) has gone in advance. They have constructed double-lane roads along the border, giving power, water and all other facilities to the people on that side," the state PWD Minister Naban Tuki, who was here, said in response to a query.

"We should have started much earlier. Now the Centre has taken care of the situation and of late sanctioned a number of schemes under the Border Area Development Programme. A lot of money has been pumped in this year to improve communication, electricity, housing and other developmental works in these areas," he said.

He said the work on the ambitious 1,656-km Trans- Arunachal highway is scheduled to begin soon, while the state government has already approved another 2,000 km of link roads connecting the remote corners of the state.

"Some work on the projects has already started," he said.

The work on the Trans-Arunachal Highway is expected to start by November and targeted to be completed by 2015, Arunachal PWD department officials said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced the highway project - which will start from Nichipu near Tawang and will interlink 11 districts up to Kanubari near Naharkatia in Assam -- in 2008 during his visit to Arunachal Pradesh.

The Bandardewa-Itanagar-Holongi stretch of the highway project will be four-lane, while the rest of the roadway will be double lane.

The PWD Minister also indicated that the government was planning to have Advanced Landing Grounds in all the important district headquarters, besides some greenfield airports in places like Tawang, Pasighat and Itanagar.

"The state has a huge area of 83,700 sq km and the population pattern is scattered. It will take sometime before we can develop these areas," he said.

Tuki was here to attend the All Tribes Festival organised by the Shillong chapter of Arunachal Students Union.