‘Infrastructure boost can avert crossovers’

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NEW DELHI: Hours after five Arunachal youths detained by China’s People’s Liberation Army made it back to India, Union minister Kiren Rijiju, an MP from the state, said it is not uncommon for locals to move around border areas for hunting and foraging, but with the difficult terrain in mind, the Centre is ramping up infrastructure to improve accessibility.
“The thing is that those areas are very difficult and topography is inaccessible. People from villages often go to the mountains and border areas for hunting and collecting herbs. On many occasions, the PLA also gets there and, unfortunately, our people are taken away,” Rijiju told TOI on Saturday.
Rijiju said that the situation is improving gradually, with the Army and civic agencies working together to build more infrastructure for the region. “Things are looking better. The border area must not be left unattended in terms of providing basic amenities. Villages are being connected with roads on a priority basis. I must thank the Army. Let’s hope that in future, we have better connectivity so we can avoid such accidental crossovers.”
As the sports and youth affairs minister, Rijiju said, he has been trying to engage youths from the region.

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