SHILLONG, July 2 � Myanmar is opposed to the idea of reopening of the historic Stilwell Road, Union DoNER Minister BK Handique said here today, reports PTI.
�Indians will greatly benefit if the Stilwell Road reopens. I am advocating for it...But at the moment, Myanmar government feels the time has not come as yet. Probably they have their own administrative reasons,� he said.
Myanmar is not interested in opening the road as it passes through the country�s Kachin region which is infested by insurgent elements, including those belonging to India like ULFA and NSCN factions, DoNER officials said.
The minister said he had once made a presentation to the then President APJ Abdul Kalam on the issue and had a series of talks with diplomats on reopening of the road.
The Stilwell road, built to outflank the marauding Japanese and establish a land supply route to Yunnan province of China during the World War II, was originally called Ledo road, as it started in Ledo in Eastern Assam. It was later renamed after US General Joseph Stilwell, the then Chief of Staff of the Allied Forces.
The road was constructed under the direct supervision of General Stilwell in 1942, connecting some sections of the old �Burma Road�, stretching from Kunming.
Some 60 km of the road lies in India, 1,000 km in Myanmar and more than 600 km in China. However, parts of the road have virtually disappeared due to lack of maintenance.