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Panel for Stilwell road soon

Of the 1,726km road, 1,033km is in Myanmar, 632km in China and the rest in India

By Damien Lepcha in Itanagar
  • Published 17.02.20, 12:06 AM
  • Updated 17.02.20, 12:06 AM
  • a min read
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In sync: Dancers perform during Oriah festival at Longding in Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos

Arunachal Pradesh deputy chief minister Chowna Mein on Sunday said the state government would soon form a committee to look into the matter of re-opening Stilwell Road.

While attending the Oriah festival of the Wancho community here, he said he would appeal to the Centre to prioritise restoration of the road as that would benefit both India and Myanmar.

“The road, once re-opened, will ease travel and reduce distance for those living on either side of the India-Myanmar border. It will strengthen the age-old cultural link, help promote spiritual tourism and function as a catalyst for cross-border trade,” Mein said.

Stilwell Road or Ledo Road was constructed by Allied soldiers, led by the US, during the World War II.

After the war, the road fell into disuse.

Of the 1,726km road, 1,033km is in Myanmar, 632km in China and the rest in India.

Mein reiterated that the Northeast is the gateway to Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.

“India’s Act East policy will improve people-to-people contact which is essential for building socio-cultural relations, increasing trade ties, promoting tourism and developing the economic scenario of Southeast Asia through outreach initiatives,” Mein said.

The minister also raised issues related to creation of infrastructure and development in border areas to curb migration of people from the border villages to the cities.

“Arunachal Pradesh has all the potential to become the fruit bowl of the country and become one of the tourist hotspots in India. The need of the hour is how to utilise these natural resources to our advantage and draw more tourists,” he said.

“Arunachal is a land of many tribes and each has its distinct cultural identity,” the deputy chief minister said.

Mein lauded the Wancho community for preserving and protecting their rich cultural heritage despite the challenges of modernisation.