New Delhi: Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a two-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh to review security preparedness in the region, on Friday said that the Central government’s focus on Act East Policy would open new doors of rapid infrastructure development in the North-East, especially in Arunachal Pradesh.

Calling for bolstering the border infrastructure of the country, Rajnath said the national security is the top priority of the Union government.

“The government has adopted the Border Area Development Programme (BADP) in its plan keeping in view the security of people residing in border areas,” he said after inaugurating the Sisseri River Bridge at Lower Dibang Valley in Arunachal Pradesh.

The 200-meter bridge on the Jonai-Pasighat-Ranaghat-Roing road will provide connectivity between Dibang Valley and Siang as it would cut down travel time between Pasighat and Roing by about five hours.

Initiated by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the BADP is a comprehensive programme for border management of states that have international boundaries.

“Upgrading infrastructure is necessary for the security of the North-East and the entire country,” he further added.

Apart from Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein and Director-General of BRO Lt Gen Harpal Singh, Arunachal East MP Tapir Gao were present at the inaugural ceremony.

On November 14, Rajnath had said that people living in the border areas are not ordinary citizens, but they are the country’s strategic assets.

“People living in border areas are not ordinary citizens but they are our strategic assets. I still remember when #AN32 aircraft had crashed, it is with the help of locals that we got information about the crash site,” Rajnath Singh said while addressing a gathering in Tawang of Arunachal Pradesh.

As part of his visit, the Defence Minister on Friday visited an Army post in Bum La area. Located at a height of more than 4,500 metres above sea level, Bum La Pass is a strategically important place for the country as it was this route through which China’s People’s Liberation Army invaded India in 1962.

The Defence Minister’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh comes a month after he assured that the Centre was dedicated to “effectively deal with any threats that undermine the peace and tranquillity” in the country by bolstering infrastructure in border areas, stated news agency ANI.

(With inputs from IANS, ANI)