Himalayan border concern: Will development help?

May 21, 2017, 10:09 am
Gangtok (Sikkim) :India, of late, has realized an impending danger along the Indo-China border because of decade old lack of development initiatives in these areas. Lack of basic facilities has been forcing a section of the Indian citizens to migrate to China. The uneasy trend, if allowed to go unchecked, would trigger a huge tension before the rerun of the 1962 Chinese aggression.
 
This was more or less of what the south east Asian country’s home minister Rajnath Singh said when he was holding a meeting of chief ministers from the Himalayan states in the north east Indian capital city of Gangtok on Saturday.
 
Apart from Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu, his counterparts and host state chief minister Pawan Singh Chamling, Uttarakhand TS Rawat along with the representatives from Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir were present in the meeting where Singh, outlined the poor infrastructure and connectivity along the border areas where the people have been bearing the brunt.
 
He,however, admitted the hardship to ensure stepped up vigil along a portion of Indo-China border because of disadvantages of the location.“Deployment of border guards alone will not help us de escalate the tension which triggers at regular intervals. We must improve these condition. The need of the hour is to mitigate the miseries' of these border people to stop them from migrating to the Chinese territory,”said the home minister.
 
“The meeting aims at improving our coordination with the states bordering China. We have few serious issues to be dealt with due care and caution,” said s home ministry official in the capital.
 
Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu heaped huge praise on the Centre for holding the brainstorming session of the frontier states. “These meetings should take place at least once in a year. I would like the union home minister to hold the next meeting in Itanagar which would boost our confidence,”said Khandu.
 
A defence expert said in New Delhi,”the meeting assumed significance after New Delhi decided to shy away from Beijing’s silk route project one road one belt conference and the recent diplomatic tussle over Dalai Lama’s visit to the frontier north eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.”
 
“Had the border areas got thrust in terms of development not even a single citizen  would have migrated. It is too late. Many areas along the Indo-China border have no  road connectivity, electricity, drinking water and health care facilities for the people. An opposite scene within the Chinese territory keep forcing them to migrate. The government knows. But never it wants to concentrate,” said Sachin Srivastava, a defence researcher.

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