The state assembly on Saturday witnessed discussion on the issue of the people living along the Sino-India border migrating from their villages to urban areas, making the areas vulnerable to Chinese occupation. Koloriang MLA Lokam Tassar raised the issue of the impact of depopulation across the LAC in Kurung Kumey district and sought remedial measures to address the concern. This is an issue which Arunachal has been grappling with for the last many decades. A large chunk of the population has abandoned the villages in the LAC and migrated to district headquarters and the capital region.
The situation is especially alarming in Kurung Kumey, Kra Daadi, Upper Subansiri, etc. There have been reports of such migration even from districts like Anjaw, Shi-Yomi, East Kameng and Dibang Valley. It is not an easy task to abandon an ancestral village and migrate to a new place. For the tribal communities, who take immense pride in their identity, the decision to leave their ancestral village is taken with a heavy heart. They have been left with no choice. Most of the villages along the Sino-India border do not have road connectivity. Till today, civilians as well as armed forces have to walk to reach these villages. Poor healthcare scenario, lack of roads and good schools force the people to migrate to urban centres. CM Pema Khandu while speaking in the assembly urged the people who have migrated from the border areas to go back to their native places. However, the state government also has to ensure that the people are provided with all the basic necessities. The Frontier Highway, which aims to connect
the villages located on the Sino-India border, should be taken up on priority. This is a highly ambitious road project and, if it is completed, it will change the face of the state forever.