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India has begun work on the Arunachal Frontier Highway. Know 15 reasons why China is worried sick

Source : Firstpost

India has begun work on the Arunachal Frontier Highway. Know 15 reasons why China is worried sick

India has begun work on the Arunachal Frontier Highway. Know 15 reasons why China is worried sick

Work on the highly strategic Frontier Highway in Arunachal Pradesh has finally begun. While China has long maintained its opposition to the project, given its intransigent position on the state that is an inalienable part of India, the Modi government has set the ball rolling.

The highway dovetails two significant aims: the infrastructure project will bring connectivity and, therefore, development to the difficult topography of the state. This further mitigates outmigration from frontier villages in the state, adding to the security of the borders. Also, it will enable the army to mobilise and deploy quickly along LAC.

The highway is just 20-km inside Indian side of LAC and passes close to Yagtse, site of the bloodiest China-India clash in the recent past.

USP of Frontier Highway

1 – It dovetails into the long term vision of the Modi government, envisaged in the Vibrant Villages Programme that pivots to stop migration from the frontier villages of India, including Arunachal Pradesh. In fact, the scheme was launched in Arunachal Pradesh by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

2 – All the villages within 5-km radius of the international border have been connected with All-Weather Roads. The construction of 1859 km long Arunachal Frontier Highway has started. In the last few years 252 habitations have been connected by constructing 2500 km of roads in border areas.

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Image Credit : The Print

3 – The Arunachal Frontier Highway will be 1,500 km long. Additional 1,000 km of roads have also been planned in the region.

4 – Frontier Highway will be beneficial for the armed forces and the common populace, by exponentially increasing accessibility and infrastructure.

5 – The estimated cost of the project is nearly Rs 40,000 crore. It is “one of India’s biggest and toughest” road construction projects.

6 – Multiple agencies have come together to work on the project: Border Roads Organisation (BRO), the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) etc.

7 – MoRTH estimates that all necessary approvals and land acquisition processes would be completed by March 2025.

8 – Construction will be completed by March 2027.

9 – With the Frontier Highway, Arunachal Pradesh will have three national highways — the Frontier Highway, the East-West Industrial Corridor Highway, and the Trans-Arunachal Highway.

10 – This has been dubbed as a “futuristic highway”. It will run along the ‘India-Tibet-China-Myanmar’ border.

11 – It will be just 20 kms from the LAC and the international borders.

12 – It will start from Bomdila and pass through Nafra, Huri, and Monigong, which is closer to the LAC or the McMahon Line. The highway will end in Vijaynagar, near the India-Myanmar border.

13 – Important centres that the Frontier Highway will touch are Tawang, Mago Upper Subansiri, Upper Siang, Mechukha, Tuting, Dibang Valley, Kibithoo, Changlang, and Dong.

14 – The strategic highway will connect with the under-construction Trans-Arunachal Highway, linking Tawang to Kanubari, finally ending on NH 52 near Akajan, close to the Bogibeel bridge near Dibrugarh in Assam.

15 – China had objected to the project when it was announced. Back then, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei had said: “Until the border issue is resolved, we urge the Indian side to refrain from taking any actions that could further complicate the situation, in order to maintain the current state of peace and stability in the border region.”

The Indian position, however, can be summed up in CM Pema Khandu’s statement: “1962 was history and will never be repeated ever. In 1962, the scenario was very different. Infrastructure in the region was very poor. Despite that the Indian Army fought bravely and sacrificed thousands of lives to protect the motherland. But today, we are not what we were in 1962.”

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