Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday asked border guarding force ITBP and governments of Himalayan states to remain “very vigilant” against Chinese transgression along the Sino-Indian border saying such incidents take place due to perceptional differences. Singh, addressing a first-ever meeting of chief ministers of five Himalayan states, asked Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, governments to undertake developmental activities along the 3,488-km long Sino-Indian border so that people living in these areas do not have to migrate.
Singh also reviewed the Infrastructure development work along Indo-China border, news agency ANI reported. “India-China relations are good, results of which can be witnessed in transgression which has lessened in comparison to earlier times,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh said. The home minister further said central government has increased the amount of funding for border areas. “Centre had allocated Rs 990 crore in 2016-17 under Border Area Development Programme, ’17-18 it is increased to Rs 1100 cr,” Singh said. He added that both, India and China have a “perceptional difference” on the issue of international boundary.
He further termed relationship with China as ‘good’ in current time. He also batted that for basic amenities for people living in these areas. “People in border areas must get all facilities be it health, education, medical, electricity, water; directed State Govts to take initiative,” Singh Said. “Where on one hand our security forces protect our borders, people living in border areas are a strategic asset for us,” he added. “Home Ministry working on 27 roads, construction work of which will be completed by 2019-20, approval process for 48 other roads has begun,” Rajnath added.
The meeting comes days after India refused to participate in China’s much-hyped Silk road project ‘One Belt, One Road’ conference in Beijing and a month after the diplomatic tussle over the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh. Chief ministers of Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh Trivendra Singh Rawat, Pawan Kumar Chamling and Pema Khandu respectively and representatives of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh attended the meeting.
“As we are aware Indo-China border is undemarcated, we have to be very vigilant while guarding the borders. The ITBP has been guarding the Indo-China border since 2004. They are performing their duty with great courage and alacrity,” he said.