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Illegal encroachment evokes strong protest

Written by: Staff
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Itanagar, Mar 29 (UNI) Over 1,000 illegal migrants belonging to Bangaldeshi Muslim, Chakma and Hajong communities have reportedly migrated to Rajai village in Dollongmukh area located along the disputed Assam-Arunachal boundary evoking strong resentment from villagers of both sides.

Delegations of All Dollongmukh Area Students' Union and All Hill Miri Students' Union along with panchayat leaders visited the area to take stock of the situation. The villagers of Assam side were equally enraged by the development as they were in the dark on the matter.

The migrants have encroached upon the wetlands of the area, which have been serving as the rice bowl of the agrarian society of both the states since long.

While Dollongmukh has been hogging the limelight since the National Hydro-electric Power Corporation Limited started work on the 2000 MW Lower Subansiri Hydel Project, the disputed status of the area has been the bone of contention for Arunachal government, which has been demanding an amicable solution to the border row before giving consent for the mega project.

The issue rocked the just concluded budget session of the state assembly where state Chief Minister Gegong Apang pacified the opposition BJP members by saying NHPC has to protect state's interest if they want to take up projects in the state.

Arunachal with a potential to generate over 50,000 MW hydro power is described as the future 'power house' of the county with the central government planning to generate additional 50,000 MW, including 21,000 MW from Arunachal alone by 2012 under its Accelerated Power Generation Programme.

But, the encroachment problem has given a new twist to the border row which needs to be resolved in the greater interest of the nation, particularly the North Eastern region, a social activist said.

UNI XC-UPB TJP RD 1427

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