Rs 40,000 crore Arunachal border road could be a liability, warns Indian Army

Army has raised objections to a 1,500-km proposed highway along the China border in Arunachal Pradesh connecting remote areas of the hill state, as per a media report. According to a report in Mail Today, Army fear is that it could be a strategic blunder due to its proximity to China in case of a confrontation. The report added that this has not gone down too well with state government and may lead to a tussle between the home and defence ministry. The road project, connecting Tawang with Vijoynagar, bordering Myanmar, is said to be costing between Rs 30,000 and 40,000 crore. The initial construction between Tawang and Dirang is done but further work is yet to begin, the website quoted sources as saying.
“The matter has been brought to my knowledge and I will call a meeting of officials from home and defence ministry along with state officials to sort out the issues,” Mail Today quoted Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs, as saying.
The Army tactics has reportedly been of not developing the border areas to ensure minimal damage and cut off easy access to the enemy in case of an infiltration.
However, this could result in government’s plans to develop remote areas and resettle the local population. “They should be happy that the road is close to the border. It can be a boon for the troops for swift mobilisation,” an official was quoted as saying. On the other hand, Pasang Dorjee, an MLA from Arunachal Pradesh, said, “Instead of saying that the road should be closer to the border, like China did, the Army is saying it should not be along the border.”
“Chinese forces have top-class roads till their border outposts. The villages and towns are well inhabited and have excellent infrastructure. If not match them, we need to at least achieve 10 per cent of what they have,” a government official said.
To be noted is the fact that earlier Beijing had also registered a protest to the road project saying it could complicate the border dispute.

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