Despite border troubles with China, Arunachal revs up development engine

On December 9, PLA troops approached the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh, but Indian troops firmly contested their way, leading to a clash between the two. Sources said that although no loss of life or major injuries were reported but both- some Indian and Chinese troops- received some minor injuries during the clash. Besides the problem in the international frontiers, the 804 km inter-state decades old border issue with Assam, Chakma-Hajong tribal issue

The Centre and and the state government have rolled out an ambitious infrastructure development mission along Arunachal Pradesh's border with Myanmar (520 km), Bhutan (217 km) and China (1,080 km), even as the intermittent troubles that keep erupting along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) show no signs of abating.

On December 9, PLA troops approached the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh, but Indian troops firmly contested their way, leading to a clash between the two. Sources said that although no loss of life or major injuries were reported but both- some Indian and Chinese troops- received some minor injuries during the clash.

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Besides the problem in the international frontiers, the 804 km inter-state decades old border issue with Assam, Chakma-Hajong tribal issue and Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission recruitment examination paper leakage also dominated Arunachal Pradesh in 2022 and their consequences would carry forward in the new year.

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After Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh is the second state in the northeastern region to become a power surplus state after Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the 600 MW Kameng HydroPower plant to the nation on November 19.

The Prime Minister on November 19 also inaugurated northeast's first greenfield airport called Donyi Polo airport at Itanagar and with this the northeastern state got three airports with the Pasighat and Tezu airports- the other two.

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Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Pema Khandu, said that to develop the bordering areas of the state and to facilitate the people to remain in their border villages and to prevent their migration, Centre would invest Rs 50,000 crore to construct highways in far-flung areas along the 1,817 km international borders with China, Myanmar and Bhutan.

The Chief Minister, who was recently on several day visit to the remote areas along China, said that the Union Road, Transport Highways Ministry has sanctioned adequate money for the 1500 km frontier highway that would connect all the border areas of the state from East to West and interconnecting roads between the highways of about 1,000 kms.

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To tap the state's Hydropower potentiality, Union Power Minister R.K. Singh recently assured Arunachal Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister, Chowna Mein, that the Centre would soon approve an investment of Rs 32,000 crore for the 2,880 MW generation capacity Dibang hydroelectric project in the state.

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Assam and Arunachal Pradesh have earlier agreed in-principle to restrict the number of disputed villages to 86 instead of 123 along eight districts of Assam and 12 districts of Arunachal Pradesh.

Chief Minister, Minister and official level meetings were held both in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam to resolve the several decades old 804 km inter-state border disputes between the two states.

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There are about 65,000 tribals belonging to Chakma and Hajong community in Arunachal Pradesh who fled from East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, and were settled by the Central government in the then North East Frontier Agency (NEFA), now Arunachal Pradesh.

Various tribal organisations in Arunachal Pradesh have been agitating both in the state and in New Delhi alleging deprivation of their basic rights including racial profiling, cancellation of the Residential Proof Certificates (RPCs) issued to the Chakmas and Hajongs tribals by the state government.

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The Supreme Court in 1996 and 2015 ruled in favour of granting citizenship to the members of the two tribal communities settled in Arunachal Pradesh but they are yet to get their Indian citizenship.

The National Human Rights Commission also has asked the Centre and the Arunachal Pradesh government to finalise the conferment of citizenship rights to the eligible people of Chakma and Hajongs tribes as ordered by the Supreme Court.

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The issue of alleged leakage of question paper of an examination conducted by Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) for the post of Assistant Engineer (Civil) rocked the state even as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) following the request of the state government took up the probe and filed a charge sheet against eight accused before a Special CBI court in Itanagar.

In the sensational case, the CBI had earlier conducted search operations at many locations in Arunachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, which resulted into the recovery of incriminating documents, including fake stamps of executive magistrate of Arunachal Pradesh, Executive Engineer, State Bank of India, hard discs, pen drive etc.

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The Arunachal Chief Minister has ordered a departmental enquiry into the alleged leak of question paper.

To add to the woes of the State, two separate Army helicopters crashed in October, killing six Army personal.

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In the same month, an Advanced Light Combat Aircraft of the Indian Army crashed in Arunachal Pradesh's Upper Siang district killing all the five personnel on board.

Matter got further complicated with the crash of a Cheetah helicopter again in October, killing the pilot who was flying the aircraft.

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