Arunachal Frontier Highway

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Mago-Thingbu–Vijaynagar Border Road
Route information
Length2,000 km (1,000 mi)
Major junctions
West endMago-Thingbu in Tawang district
East endVijaynagar in Changlang district
Location
StatesArunachal Pradesh
Major citiesTawang, Changlang
Highway system

Arunachal Frontier Highway, also Mago-ThingbuVijaynagar Border Highway,[1] is a planned border highway in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. The 2,000-kilometre-long (1,200 mi) road follows the McMahon Line,[2][3] the international border between India and China. The Government of India estimates the cost at 40,000 crore (equivalent to 480 billion or US$6.9 billion in 2018).[4][5]

The highway along the China border would accompany the Trans-Arunachal Highway (through the middle) and the Arunachal East-West Corridor (in the foothills along the Assam border) as major highways spanning the whole state, pursuing the Look East connectivity concept.[2]

Alignment[edit]

The high-altitude highway will originate from Mago-Thingbu in Tawang district and meander through the following border areas of Arunachal Pradesh along the McMahon Line: West Kameng district; East Kameng district; Upper Subansiri district; Mechuka in West Siang district; Tuting in Upper Siang district; Dibang Valley district; Desali in Lower Dibang Valley district; Chaglagam, Kibithu, Dong & Hawai all in Anjaw district; and end at Vijaynagar in Changlang district at the junction of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Myanmar.[4][6] The map of alignment can be seen here.[6]

The highway will intersect with the proposed East-West Industrial Corridor Highway in the foothills of Arunachal Pradesh from Bhairabkunda, the tri-junction of Bhutan, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to Ruksin in East Siang district.[1]

The highway will pass through the BCIM Economic Corridor proposed by the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Forum for Regional Cooperation (BCIM Forum),[1][3] a multi-mode corridor that includes a highway from Calcutta in India's West Bengal state to Kunming in China's Yunnan province. As well as Arunachal Pradesh, the highway passes through the Indian states of Manipur and Assam.[7]

The highway will cross the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary, which may raise environmental issues.

Current status[edit]

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways identifies the highway as one of the 29 corridors close to the 3,600 km international border, which it proposes to undertake as a National Highway Development Project (NHDP), though there is "little habitation" along the proposed route and only "small stretches of minor roads".[3]

In 2013, the Ministry of Defence found that, of the 503 stretches on the borders to be completed by 2022, only 17 were complete, and work was is underway on just 50.[8] Government, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, seeks to expedite these projects with the coordinated efforts of Border Roads Organisation, Ministry of Defence (India), Government of Arunachal Pradesh, National Highways Development Project, Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region and National Security Advisor (India).[9]

In October 2014, Kiren Rijiju, Union Minister of State for Home Affairs of India was trying to expedite the project as well as the proposed East-West Industrial Corridor Highway, Arunachal Pradesh[1][5] as he said "I am proposing to undertake this road along with another in the foothill areas of Arunachal Pradesh state from Bhairabkunda in Assam located at the tri-junction of Bhutan, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh to Ruksin in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh state which will serve as an industrial corridor for the people residing in the foothill areas of the state".[5]

Rationales[edit]

Various sources in the Government of India and media have mentioned the following reasons to build the highway:[3][4][5][7]

  • That the highway will generate employment and increase tourism in these hard-to-reach areas.
  • That the highway will check Chinese incursions into Indian territory. China has built an extensive road and railway network on its side, posing a security risk to India as the region is relatively inaccessible on the Indian side.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Narendra Modi government to provide funds for restoration of damaged highways". Diligent Media Corporation Ltd. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b Arunachal Dy CM Lays Foundation Stone of Bridge over Bari River, North East Today, 11 Dec 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d Dash, Dipak Kumar. "Top officials to meet to expedite road building along China border". The Times of India. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Indian Government Plans Highway Along Disputed China Border". Ankit Panda. thediplomat.com. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "Govt planning road along McMohan line in Arunachal Pradesh: Kiren Rijiju". Live Mint. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  6. ^ a b "China warns India against paving road in Arunachal". Ajay Banerjee. tribuneindia.com. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Why India is planning a new road near the China border". BBC News. BBC. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  8. ^ "Army's border roads in trouble: The planned road network along the border with China is stuck in red tape and impeded by terrain". Daily Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Top officials to meet to expedite road building along China border". ipanewspack.com. Retrieved 27 October 2014.