Himachal To Seek Funds For Strengthening Of Roads Bordering China

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Shimla May, 18: Himachal will seek funds for strengthening of its three strategic roads providing all-weather connectivity along the Indo-China border and tightening of the inner line restrictions right up to Wangtoo in Kinnaur. Himachal will raise these issues at the meeting of five states – Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal, Uttrakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh — with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at Sikkim on May 20.

The endeavour is to look into all state specific issues which confront various agencies, including the Army, Police, Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and other agencies along the border with China.Besides the issue of strengthening of road network, various law enforcing agencies, including the ITBP, are keen that the telecommunication network in the border areas is strengthened.

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Besides, Himachal Police is keen that the inner line restrictions, which make it mandatory for foreigners, including Nepalese, to seek a permit before entering any area which is within 10 km of the international territory with China is strengthened further.India shares international boundary with China in Kinnaur district and as such the state government will seek over Rs 70 crores for strengthening of road network which will provide all-weather connectivity.

The three roads for which the process of land acquisition has already been completed are Chitkul-Dumti, Thangi-Charang (20 kms) and Chanrang to Kota Dogri (six kms). While the Chitkul-Dumti road falls in Sangala Valley, the other two roads fall in the Kalpa diviison in district Kinnaur. “We will seek funds to the tune of Rs 70 crores for the construction of these roads so that we have an assured all-weather connectivity to the border areas,” revealed Narinder Chauhan, Additional Chief Secretary, Public Works Department (PWD).

He added that the construction of another important road – Chango-Leo by-pass — will help reduce the distance to Spiti by almost 25 km. “More importantly, this will help us by-pass the Mulling Nullah near Nako, which is a problematic area and poses a problem in connectivity every now and then,” he said.

Director-General of Police Sanjay Kumar said the police is keen that the restrictions of inner line permit (ILP) should be enforced right from Wantoo so that villages falling on both sides of the Satluj river are covered. “Earlier, the ILP was mandatory beyond Wangtoo but later it was extended up to Akpa, so we want it to be restored to the original position in Wangtoo,” he said.

In sharp contrast to the stand of Himachal Police, the locals in Kinnaur are seeking relaxation in the ILP conditions as they are facing problems in getting Nepalaese labour to work for them in their apple orchards and fields. The number of foreigners visiting Kinnuar and Lahaul Spiti has been on the rise and was the highest in 2016 in the last five years.

Source Tribune India

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