India to build Trans-Arunachal Highway

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Shillong, Sept 30 (UNI) The Border Roads Organisation (BRO) will start constructing the strategically vital Trans-Arunachal Highway following China's repeated incursion and claim over large parts of Arunachal Pradesh.

China claims 90,000 sq km of land in Arunachal Pradesh, bordering Bhutan and Tibet. India says China is occupying 38,000 sq km of its territory in Kashmir, illegally ceded by Pakistan.

The Trans-Arunachal Highway would enable India to move in its defence assets smoothly in rugged Arunachal Pradesh.

It is also aimed at providing inter-basin double lane connectivity starting right from Tawang to the South Eastern district of Arunachal Pradesh.

'' BRO is likely to be entrusted with 1050 kms out of a total length of 1850 kms (of Trans-Arunachal Pradesh Highway), '' Minister of State for Defence M M Pallam Raju told reporters here today.

Mr Raju, however, said the development of border road in Arunachal Pradesh is not necessarily due to the Chinese threat. ''The development of Trans-Arunachal Highway is mainly to facilitate trade with South East Asian countries,'' he said.

UNI RRK KK RP AS1641

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