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Border areas need to be developed: Antony

By Correspondent

ITANAGAR, Feb 20 � The Centre is aware of the challenges faced by the people living in the border areas and the government is according topmost priority to infrastructure development in these areas, said Union Defence Minister AK Antony while speaking during the silver jubilee celebrations of Arunachal Pradesh Staehood Day here today.

In his speech, Antony admitted that Arunachal Pradesh is a strategically important State with hilly terrains, which has been facing serious challenges from outside the country. Showering praise on the people of Arunachal for their patriotic spirit and love for the nation, the Defence Minister said, �Arunachal Pradesh is in the heart of the people of our country. In the path of development, peace and prosperity, the whole nation is with Arunachal Pradesh.�

Apart from priority accorded to the field of tourism, agriculture and horticulture sectors to enhance the rural economy, particularly in border areas of the State, the ongoing construction of eight Advance Landing Grounds (ALGs) in various locations of the State will not only boost the security apparatus, but also help the State Government in smooth distribution of PDS items in remote areas of the landlocked State, he said.

Antony also assured to take up the project proposals submitted by the State Government with the Prime Minister for consideration.

Later, interacting with mediapersons on the sidelines of the celebrations, Antony said, �The eastern border of the country is safe and the security apparatuses are being strengthened to face any eventuality.�

�We are confident that we will be able to safeguard our border and the nation as a whole. At present, the border is peaceful and we have full confidence in our security forces,� he said.

Asked about the visa deadlock, particularly in the context of Arunachal Pradesh and diplomatic relations between India and China, Antony said that an agreement was signed with China recently and a mechanism is being developed to address such issues.

While his attention was drawn towards the present law and order situation in the North East, Antony said Arunachal Pradesh and the entire North East had faced serious challenges in the past which threatened the unity of India. But now the situation is far better and peaceful, he said.

In his address, Governor Gen (Retired) JJ Singh said that infrastructure development in border areas has been a priority of the State Government. Arunachal Pradesh, which shares the international border with Myanmar, Bhutan and China, needs special attention of the Centre, the Governor said, and appealed to the Centre to put emphasis on development of road infrastructure and supply of electricity and water for the people along the border areas.

The Governor also appealed to the Centre to take steps for early sanction for the second battalion of Arunachal Scouts, establishment of National Institute of Mountaineering and Adventure Sports, besides technical and financial support for launching a massive media campaign at the national level to tap the tourism potential of the State.

In his speech, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki said that his government will accord high priority to maintaining law and order situation and ensuring food security, employment generation and effective border management. Tuki further said that his government is contemplating forming the Arunachal Employment Generation Council and the Arunachal Pradesh Skill Development Council to give right direction to the unemployed youth of the State.

A host of dignitaries, including Army officers, former Chief Ministers of State and MPs and general public were present on the occasion.

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Border areas need to be developed: Antony

ITANAGAR, Feb 20 � The Centre is aware of the challenges faced by the people living in the border areas and the government is according topmost priority to infrastructure development in these areas, said Union Defence Minister AK Antony while speaking during the silver jubilee celebrations of Arunachal Pradesh Staehood Day here today.

In his speech, Antony admitted that Arunachal Pradesh is a strategically important State with hilly terrains, which has been facing serious challenges from outside the country. Showering praise on the people of Arunachal for their patriotic spirit and love for the nation, the Defence Minister said, �Arunachal Pradesh is in the heart of the people of our country. In the path of development, peace and prosperity, the whole nation is with Arunachal Pradesh.�

Apart from priority accorded to the field of tourism, agriculture and horticulture sectors to enhance the rural economy, particularly in border areas of the State, the ongoing construction of eight Advance Landing Grounds (ALGs) in various locations of the State will not only boost the security apparatus, but also help the State Government in smooth distribution of PDS items in remote areas of the landlocked State, he said.

Antony also assured to take up the project proposals submitted by the State Government with the Prime Minister for consideration.

Later, interacting with mediapersons on the sidelines of the celebrations, Antony said, �The eastern border of the country is safe and the security apparatuses are being strengthened to face any eventuality.�

�We are confident that we will be able to safeguard our border and the nation as a whole. At present, the border is peaceful and we have full confidence in our security forces,� he said.

Asked about the visa deadlock, particularly in the context of Arunachal Pradesh and diplomatic relations between India and China, Antony said that an agreement was signed with China recently and a mechanism is being developed to address such issues.

While his attention was drawn towards the present law and order situation in the North East, Antony said Arunachal Pradesh and the entire North East had faced serious challenges in the past which threatened the unity of India. But now the situation is far better and peaceful, he said.

In his address, Governor Gen (Retired) JJ Singh said that infrastructure development in border areas has been a priority of the State Government. Arunachal Pradesh, which shares the international border with Myanmar, Bhutan and China, needs special attention of the Centre, the Governor said, and appealed to the Centre to put emphasis on development of road infrastructure and supply of electricity and water for the people along the border areas.

The Governor also appealed to the Centre to take steps for early sanction for the second battalion of Arunachal Scouts, establishment of National Institute of Mountaineering and Adventure Sports, besides technical and financial support for launching a massive media campaign at the national level to tap the tourism potential of the State.

In his speech, Chief Minister Nabam Tuki said that his government will accord high priority to maintaining law and order situation and ensuring food security, employment generation and effective border management. Tuki further said that his government is contemplating forming the Arunachal Employment Generation Council and the Arunachal Pradesh Skill Development Council to give right direction to the unemployed youth of the State.

A host of dignitaries, including Army officers, former Chief Ministers of State and MPs and general public were present on the occasion.