Keeping in mind china’s sensitivities and claims over Arunachal Pradesh, the Asian development bank has excluded the northeast Indian state from a vital northeast economic corridor project. The project aims at boosting intra-region that is northeast connectivity and developing multi-modal transport networks to enhance south Asia and Southeast Asia. Connectivity, while six other northeastern states find mention in the project details, Arunachal Pradesh does not. The exclusion of Arunachal Pradesh by the ADB from its project for the region does not come as any surprise. Back in June 2009, china objected to the construction of embankments and irrigation canals in Arunachal Pradesh on the ground that the state was a disputed territory.
The then foreign minister s m Krishna, had said that china’s objection was a violation of the ADB charter, which expressly states that only economic and viability considerations will drive the evaluation and funding of projects by the multilateral lending agency. India then argued its case before the ADB executive directors, who were representatives of the USA, Japan, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Germany, and Italy. The impression that India got at that time was that the ADB board had agreed with India’s position and had been supported by the u.s, japan, and other member countries. Nevertheless however, according to leaked cables from the u.
The embassy in Beijing, China, ultimately prevailed, and the ADB withdrew from the project. Since then, the ADB has also assured china that mistakes that led to the dispute would not be repeated, and the bank will not deal with disputed territories. While China claims parts of Arunachal Pradesh and says the territory is disputed, and India’s position is that the state is an integral part of the country. After this nasty politics of china, the Indian government said it would fund projects in sensitive areas with its resources and indicated it would not apply for funding from international agencies such as the ADB and the world bank. The latest northeast economic corridor project also has No exception in the eye of ADB. In the letter to the union ministry, ADB’s country director for India, takeo kinishi cited a study by the bank that identified 24 growth centers and 20 border centers in the northeast that can drive the growth of the states in the region. The study also identified transport urban development and power as the critical infrastructure areas that will act as enablers for the equitable development of the region.
The study also highlights the potential of Assam, Meghalaya, manapua, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Tripura in many sectors and lays down a road map for developing them. However, there needs to be a mention of Arunachal Pradesh, and The ADB’s preparatory study mentions agriculture, horticulture tourism, and power generation. Arunachal Pradesh has enormous untapped potential in all these sectors as the key drivers of growth in the region and explores ways to develop these sectors; Arunachal Pradesh has enormous untapped potential in all these sectors, the state’s exclusion from the ADB project is thus without merit what India can do about ADB by late 2009 after it became clear that the ADB had backed off from the project out of fear of china. India accelerates development, mainly infrastructure development in Arunachal Pradesh, using the country’s funds.
The union government initiated several projects, including the two thousand four hundred and seven kilometer-long transit natural highway connecting the easternmost and westernmost parts of the state. Another major project is the two-thousand-kilometer-long archer frontier highway that will largely follow the McMahon line, which forms the border between India and Chinese-occupied Tibet in the Arunachal sector. However, work on this mega project has yet to progress satisfactorily and needs to be quickened. Two more crucial projects: the Arunachal Pradesh east-west industrial corridor highway and the balikpong Tawang rail link, are also failing to make progress. Those are some other infrastructure and industrial projects in the frontier state. The government of India needs to fast-track all physical infrastructure and connectivity projects in the state.
The union government must construct airports and helipads to ensure that no part of our inaugural remains cut off from the rest of the region, accelerating the pace of infrastructure and socio-economic development of the frontier state and matching it with that on the other side of the border. This would be the best reply and snub to the ADB in china, and also, India should invite the Dalai lama to the inauguration of at least one of these major projects to bless it. The resultant rants from Beijing will be India’s sweet revenge. You
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