ITANAGAR, March 25 - Citing the strategic importance of the eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh bordering Myanmar, Chief Minister Kalikho Pul has called for deploying an ITBP battalion in the eastern zone of the State, stating that the required land will be provided at a minimal cost. Pul made this remark when Inspector General of Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Frontier Sector, Shillong, MS Rawat met him here on Thursday.
Discussing issues related to the border area with the visiting IG, the Chief Minister said that connectivity in the border areas was must for the easy and faster movement of defence personnel.
Noting that defence personnel serving in difficult terrains were living a harsh life, he said suspension bridges and CC footsteps have to be constructed and maintained wherever required to improve connectivity. Porter tracks should also be maintained for facilitating patrolling in the border areas, he added.
Reiterating the popular demand for recruitment of Arunachali youths in the ITBP as they are more familiar with the localities and hilly terrains, Pul said, �It will be of great help during emergency.� He urged the paramilitary force to win the confidence of the local people and maintain good relations with civilians.
The Chief Minister also urged the ITBP IG to put at least two helicopters at the disposal of the force in Arunachal Pradesh for emergency services � one each at Ziro and Mohanbari in neighbouring Assam for western and eastern Arunachal Pradesh respectively.
He informed the ITBP that the State Government is putting into place a single window clearance system � an initiative to reduce time and efforts involved in obtaining various clearances and land acquisition � to facilitate the armed forces, Central agencies and other private sectors for speedy implementation of their projects in the State. He urged the armed forces to work in tandem with the State Government.
The ITBP IG, who was accompanied by DIGs Ishwar Singh and Ajay Pal Singh, and Commandant, Itanagar Sector Headquarters, Angad Prasad Yadav, pointed out to the Chief Minister that communication bottleneck was the main hurdle for the armed forces serving in border areas.
He said that the ITBP has recruited the highest number of Arunachali youths among the armed forces and further assured to seek special quotas for the border State. Currently, 10 ITBP battalions are operating in the State and six more battalions have been proposed for Arunachal Pradesh, the IG added. He sought the Chief Minister�s help in reducing VAT from the existing 12.5 per cent to 5 per cent for CSD items for the welfare of the defence personnel serving in the State.