New Delhi: Chinese troops damaged a 200-foot stone wall on the Indian side of the border in Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh in July this year, triggering a strong protest from India, Defence Minister A.K. Antony told parliament Wednesday.
In a written reply to questions from Rajya Sabha members, Antony said a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) patrol had attempted to scale the stone wall constructed 250 metres inside Indian territory from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Yangstse area of Tawang, which was prevented by Indian troops.
“On July 13 this year, a PLA patrol attempted to cross a 200 feet wall of loose stones constructed 250 metres on our side of LAC in Yangtse area of Tawang, which was prevented by our troops,” he said.
“The stone wall was partially damaged by PLA, which has been reconstructed,” he said, adding that as per established mechanism with China, a strong protest was lodged in a flag meeting with the Chinese side on the action of the PLA patrol.
He also noted that since there is no commonly delineated LAC between India and China, there are a few areas along the border where the two countries have different perception of the LAC.
Both sides patrol up to their respective perception of LAC due to perceived differences in alignment with LAC, he added.
Antony, in reply to another question, also said that the army has identified 73 roads as critical and strategically important in the border areas and in addition, identified 10 railway projects for development in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh.
He said the government is seized of the security imperatives of the country as well as the need for development of requisite infrastructure in the border areas.
“Necessary steps, as required, have been initiated for ensuring that national security concerns are adequately addressed through development of infrastructure, including rail, roads and forward air fields, as well as operational capabilities of the armed forces to secure the desired national security objectives,” he added.
To another question, the defence minister said the government had awarded contract for feasibility study for a tunnel at Zojila pass to connect Leh with other parts of the country during winter and the survey was at an advanced stage, on schedule to be completed by March 2012.
“Decision about the construction of the tunnel would depend on the outcome of the feasibility study,” he added.