GUWAHATI: The BJP government on Friday informed the Assembly that Arunachal Pradesh is planning to boost infrastructure in ten towns along international borders, particularly with China, to prevent the migration of villagers. There has been a rapid migration of villagers to Itanagar and other towns over the past few years. The scarcity of food and basic amenities due to lack of terrestrial access are believed to be the reasons behind government’s move.
Chief Minister Pema Khandu agreed the matter was of grave concern given the fact that Arunachal shares its border not only with China (1,200 km) but also Bhutan (550 km) and Myanmar (150 km).He informed the Assembly that the government had sought a special package of `460 crore from the Centre for infrastructure development in border areas. “Once the project is cleared by the Centre, we believe we can thwart the migration of the people by developing the border areas with all amenities,” he said.
Former Arunachal MP, Takam Sanjay, had once said that incursions by the Chinese soldiers were less of a worry than the locals’ migrations from border areas. People settled in border areas are considered the first line of defence.”An Army officer, who has served in Arunachal said that it was of utmost importance to develop the border areas — migration or no migration. “Development is in progress in Arunachal’s border areas but the pace of it has been hampered due to issues relating to weather, roads etc,” he said, adding, “We must have our populations on our land but the problem is our border areas are underdeveloped.”