NEW DELHI: China is developing integrated ‘Model Villages’ along the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) which has dual-use and acts like an ‘extended cantonment’.
“China is building permanent integrated habitable infrastructure all along the LAC. These can be termed as model villages,” said a senior Army officer.
These are integrated as they have all kinds of facilities which can be of dual-use like an extended cantonment.
The villages have houses, community halls, playing areas, shops and some even have hotels. These villages, like Tatu Camp, which have the visible military infrastructure, include the administrative buildings, observation towers, firing ranges and also helipads.
The recent such village, which has come up, lies in the Eastern Sector and is in the form of hutments, informed the third officer. But, Indian military is puzzled.
“Why these villages remain sparsely populated and some uninhabited even after being developed fully is yet not clear,” shared another officer.
“The construction of these villages well within the visible range also is another reason which puzzles us,” the officer added.
There are 25 to 30 such model villages spread across the three sectors (Northern, Central and Eastern Sectors) told the sources.
They are all well connected with some having four-lane roads reaching up to them. These have been constructed about three to four kilometres away from the LAC.
Every infrastructure along the border can be used by military whenever required but here the strategy, as explained by another source, seems to be of long term reinforcement of their claim of the LAC as they can say that their civilian population lives up to their claim area.
The officers also feel that it is a way to keep an eye on their civilian population.
“They are trying to base their nomads or the tribes into these villages. By doing this they will be able to keep an eye on them,” shared an officer.
Although India does not have any such plans but it also has opened forward areas for its civilians. There are places like Siachen, Tuting, Kibithu and more which have been opened up.
“If these are our areas then we should allow our people to visit these places,” said a senior officer.