Arunachal asks Centre to facilitate border trade

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 21 2008, 05:14am hrs
Arunachal Pradesh, a landlocked state in the remote northeastern part of the country, has asked the central government to facilitate border trade with three neighbouring countries, namely, Myanmar, Bhutan and China.

State chief minister, Dorjee Khandu, has said in a recent memorandum to the Centre that Arunachal Pradesh has a 1,680 km-long international border with Myanmar, Bhutan and China and this opportunity presents prospects for border trade for the benefit of the people. He suggested opening up of trade points at Pangsu Pass in Nampong in Changlang district, Bletting and Bumia in Tawang district, Joring, Gelling, Gelling, Kibitho, Nampong, Mechuka, Taksing and Sarli.

Khandu also said that the success of Indias Look East Policy would largely depend upon the promotion of border trade with its neighbouring countries.

In the memo, the chief minister also demanded attention for providing basic civic amenities to villages near the international borders. Allocation under Border Area Development Programme (BADP) is not adequate enough to match the growing demands of settlers in border areas, particularly those bordering China, he said, and added that the recommendations of the task force on BADP constituted by the Planning Commission should be implemented in a time-bound manner.

He said that there were difficulties in planning roadway connectivity near border areas by state government agencies in border areas as the defence ministry had imposed restrictions on the availability of topo sheets for the area.

As the region is a centre of flora and fauna biodiversity, Khandu has demanded speedy action for setting up of the proposed National Institute of Bio-diversity Studies.

The state had also drafted a Tourism Policy 2003 for promotion of eco cultural heritage and adventure tourism. With a view to facilitating tourism, the state government has now asked for assistance from the Centre for all-round infrastructure development.