Gangtok, May 19 (PTI) The first-ever meeting of the chief ministers of five Himalayan states will be held here tomorrow where security along the entire Sino-Indian border and development of infrastructure in the frontier regions will be discussed threadbare.
The objective of the meeting, to be chaired by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, is to strengthen the coordination between the central government and the five states to improve the overall border security, an official said.
The move comes days after India refused to participate in China’s Silk road project ‘One Belt, One Road’ conference in Beijing and a month after the diplomatic tussle over the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
Chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh are expected to attend the conclave.
This is for the first time that such a meeting is being organised by the home ministry.
It has said the states were partners in maintenance of security along the border.
In the CMs’ meet, discussions will be held on the border infrastructure work undertaken by the ministry, the border area development programme and coordination issues between the states and the Indo Tibetan Border Police, which guards the Sino-Indian border.
Construction of roads, redressal of the situation arising out of lack of infrastructure in the frontier areas and a host of other issues will also be discussed at the meeting, an official said.
China is known to have improved its infrastructure along the border by constructing roads, bridges, railway network and airports.
India shares an 3,488 km-long border with China that runs along Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
The total length of the border in Jammu and Kashmir is 1,597 km, Himachal Pradesh 200 km, Uttarakhand 345 km, Sikkim 220 km and Arunachal Pradesh 1,126 km.
The border is not fully demarcated and the process of clarifying and confirming the Line of Actual Control is in progress.
The border areas, which are located at high altitudes, have inadequate development and infrastructure facilities.
Singh, who arrived here on a three-day visit, today had a meeting with Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and discussed with him various issues concerning the state.
The home minister will visit Nathu La, a border trading point with China, tomorrow and will take stock of various developmental activities in the frontier.
As many as 14 socio-cultural, political and trade delegations met the home minister today and discussed with him issues concerning the state.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.