| Defence minister A.K. Antony checks out a rifle during the 25th Arunachal Pradesh Statehood Day celebrations in Itanagar on Monday as Arunachal governor Gen. (retd) J.J. Singh looks on |
Feb. 20: Defence minister A.K. Antony today said India was strengthening its border with China in Arunachal Pradesh by building infrastructure and providing social security to those living there.
Talking briefly to reporters on the sidelines of a function to mark Statehood Day of Arunachal Pradesh in the state capital Itanagar today, the minister said he did not want to compare with the infrastructure build-up taking place across the border. “We would not like to compare India with others. But we, too, are strengthening our border by building infrastructure, roads and providing social security all along the border. We are also developing our airfields, “ he said without mentioning China, which claims the territory of the 25-year-old frontier state as its own.
Made a state on February 20, 1987, Arunachal Pradesh is considered an extremely sensitive area as it shares 1,680 square km of international border with China, Myanmar and Bhutan.
Earlier, while speaking at the function, Antony said the government had decided to set up the National Institute of Mountaineering and Adventure at Dirang and that his ministry had cleared the raising of the second battalion of Arunachal Scouts.
He added that special emphasis was being laid on making the advance landing grounds (ALG) operational. The ALGs will be of immense use and importance for the locals and the army.
Speaking during the function at the Indira Gandhi Park, Arunchal Pradesh governor Gen. (retd) J.J. Singh said effective management of the international border required “high priority”.
“While the state has made significant developments in several fields, the effective management of international border continues to be an area which requires high priority. We share an international border with three countries, and all these borders are strategically important,” the governor said, adding that while strategic objectives were important, “the real reason for developing our border areas is to provide better quality of life to our citizens. In fact, both the issues are complementary”.
Arunchal Pradesh chief minister Nabam Tuki prioritised the responsibilities and areas of concern of the state government as issues of livelihood, food security, employment generation, effective border management, improving connectivity, inclusive development of agriculture and allied activities and the state’s power sector.
He dwelt on the importance of peace and prevalence of law and order. “The rule of law must prevail in the state and it is the responsibility of the state to ensure safety and security for the people and property,” he said.
The chief minister said ways and means had to be found to address the problem of unemployment in the state, adding that the government was contemplating an appropriate body such as Arunachal Employment Generation Council and an Arunachal Pradesh Skills Development Council. For this, he said, the state would take full guidance and support from the National Skills Development Fund and Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) for agriculture and horticulture sector, among others.