Connecting our borders

Member of Parliament from eastern Arunachal Pradesh, Tapir Gao made a sensational claim on Tuesday on the floor of the Parliament when he said that that China has encroached more than 50 kms of the state’s land. Gao further warned that a Doklam-like situation will emerge if urgent attention is not paid to the activities of the Chinese Army. So far, no one, including the state government, Centre or Army has responded to the claims of Gao.
The report of Chinese incursion in the state keeps on pouring from various parts of the state. Therefore, it is a tough task to verify the claims made by the MP. However, there is no denying that migration of people from border areas to the district headquarters and state capital is taking place on a larger scale. This has lead to depletion of population in the border villages. In some districts, entire villages have been abandoned.
This kind of situation provides ample opportunities to the Chinese to grab land. In many stretches along the MacMohan Line, which separates India and China, the Army does not have its presence. For years the villagers living along the MacMohan Line used to act as border guards. Unfortunately, successive governments have failed to provide basic facilities like health care, education, road etc, forcing them to migrate. Minister of State (independent charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju, who is the MP from western Arunachal, gave a ray of hope by announcing in 2015 that a frontier highway will be constructed to connect border areas, starting from Mago in Tawang district to Vijoynagar in Changlang district. However, no visible action has been initiated to covert announcement into reality till date.