Arunachal Pradesh wants establishment of two more Advanced Landing Grounds (ALG) along the China border, as also optimum utilization of the existing eight ALGs in the state. The state shares 1080 kms of the international boundary with China.
The issue was raised by both, state Chief Minister Nabam Tuki and Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma when Defence Minster Manohar Parrikar had visited the frontier state on Saturday. Parrikar, who was scheduled to visit some forward areas and also attend a function in Tawang on Saturday could not make it due to inclement weather despite making two attempts.
Both Tuki and Sharma however told the Defence Minister in Itanagar that while the Army and Air Force units deployed on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) have to play a significant role in development in addition to national security, there was also a need for optimum use of the existing ALGs.
The state government has suggested setting up new ALGs at Koloriang (Kurung Kumey) and Anini (Dibang Valley district). The existing eight ALGs that were mostly constructed in the wake of the Chinese aggression of 1962 are located at Tuting, Mechuka, Aalo, Tawang, Wallong, Ziro, Vijoynagar and Pasighat. While the Army initially operated Dakota and Otter aircrafts to these ALGs, it has been using AN-32 aircrafts to these ALGs since 1984.
“The infrastructure so created must be utilized not only for defence purpose and carriage of civil passengers and goods but also for ferrying construction materials for infrastructure development in order to ensure optimum utilisation of the existing ALGs,” governor Nirbhay Sharma told the Defence Minister.
The Governor Lt General also requested the Defence Minister to initiate some infrastructure, communication, health and other logistic facilities of the armed forces for civil population. “Such an initiative will instill a sense of security and strengthen nationalism amongst the local people,” the Governor Lt General said.
Of late, Arunachal Pradesh has been facing major problem of large-scale migration of people living along the international border to the urban areas. The state government had identified lack of essential services and basic amenities, along with the growing aspirations of younger generations as major reasons behind this migration.
Chief Minister Nabam Tuki on his part also submitted a 10-point memorandum to Parrikar, which included creation of two more Scouts Units, relaxation in height norms for Arunachal boys and girls in defence recruitment, infrastructure facilities in border areas for general public, establishment of Army hospitals and schools, maintenance of roads, setting up two Eco Battalions, and 100% funding for setting up a Sainik School.