Strategic road recast: Centre's 'apathy' rile Arunachalis

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Itanagar, Jul 11 (UNI) Over one lakh people of Tawang and West Kameng districts in Arunachal Pradesh are facing nature's vagary and the Centre's 'apathy' as surface communication with the rest of the country remained snapped for the last two weeks.

The continuous roadblocks at several locations along the strategic Bhalukpong-Tawang road, due to rains for over a fortnight, has made life miserable for them.

With food crisis and price rise looming large, people from the state's frontier districts expressed their displeasure over the Centre and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for their ''inability'' to restore road communication.

Locals in Bomdila alleged that the districts have remained isolated since June 24 and no attempts were being made to restore traffic.

The road, which came up in the fifties, is considered to be the lifeline for civilian and Defence forces along the vital Indo-China border. Frequency of roadblocks during every monsoon underscores the lax attitude of the BRO towards its maintenance, alleged a resident.

''Travelling in the districts has become a threat to life and limbs, while administering urgent medical aid to the critical patients is out of question,'' lamented Tsering Dorjee of Tawang.

The inclement weather was hampering the state government's helicopter sorties, fuelling food crisis, apart from barring the farm-based poor villagers from selling their produce in markets within and beyond the district, he added.

The hard cash-earning annual agriculture and horticulture outputs were decaying and dumped as heap of garbage, a resident of Dirang said.

Locals are concerned in view of the repeated Chinese claim over the state, particularly Tawang district. Oldtimers have not forgotten the 1962 aggression.

''The fact remains that it was the lack of road communication which led to the Indian army's defeat. The road agencies need to wake up before it is too late,'' commented Lobsang Dorjee of Tawang who witnessed the Chinese invasion.

''We the people of these two frontier districts urge the BRO authorities and the Army to restore the disrupted Defence road at the earliest for bringing succour to the people as well as the Defence personnel posted along the Indo-China border,'' he added.

The bold scheme of the Centre's 'Vision 2020' need to come out of its gestation period and the persons at the helm of affairs at the Centre should initiate necessary steps to translate it into realities, especially in the remote yet strategically-located border districts, added Mr Dangsang, a public leader from Tawang.


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