Khandu pleads for special package for Arunachal

Itanagar, Feb 20 (PTI): Arunachal Pradesh Chief MinisterDorjee Khandu today urged the Centre to provide a specialfinancial package to the state for accelarated development ofrural areas bordering with China, Myanmar and Bhutan in thebackdrop of Chinese claim over the state''s territory.

Khandu said as the state had an almost 1,200-kmmountainous border with China, an over 540-km porous borderwith Myanmar and nearly 160-km border with Bhutan, the specialpackage was an imperative.

Speaking during the statehood celebration day here, thechief minister stressed the need for a two-pronged strategyfor effective border management which includes Infrastructureupgradation in the border areas and strengthening of thesecurity apparatus along the actual boundary.

�China has been consistently objecting to India�sattempts at securing Asian Development Bank or World Bankloans for specific projects in the state,'''' he said.

Khandu said there are 22 strategically locatedadministrative centres in the state which are yet to beconnected by roads. Connecting these areas to the nearestroad-heads will require construction of about 1134 km ofroads at a cost of Rs 2835 crore.

He pointed out that the 500-km border with Myanmar isbeing guarded by only three battalions of Assam Rifles whichis ''grossly inadequate'' and said at least five additionalbattalions of Assam Rifles should be deployed immediatelythere.

He also pointed out that Porter Tracks, Log Bridges andFoot Suspension Bridges in hilly terrains provide a veryvaluable communication support to the defence personnelguarding the frontier.

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