Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s announcement in Guwahati on Saturday that the Centre is mulling sealing of the India-Myanmar international border and cancelling the agreement for free movement of people between the two countries, is significant from various aspects. A number of problems faced by the various states of the Northeastern region have connections with the largely unfenced boundary between India and Myanmar. The two countries share 1,643 km of international boundary touching four states, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. Most of armed militant groups of the region find safe haven inside Myanmar, where they also procure arms pumped in by China. Unabated cultivation of poppy and manufacture of various kinds of drugs have also impacted the region, and going by media reports, large quantities of illegal drugs are seized almost on a daily basis across the region. Though India and Myanmar have a long list of items which can be exported and imported between the two neighbours, what is actually happening on the ground is that most such listed items enter or exit India through non-designated routes, thus leading to smuggling and loss of revenue for the government. Infiltration from the other country on the other hand has become a new problem, with official reports confirming the influx of a large number of people, particularly into Mizoram and Manipur. With lawlessness and lack of governance becoming the order of the day in the neighbouring country, even members of the Myanmarese Army too often take refuge inside India on being chased out by armed groups. The recent violence in Manipur too is said to be linked to influx from Myanmar. Given all these aspects, it is a welcome decision to fence the boundary. But, whether it is a practical proposition or not, is the biggest question. While terrain is one major hurdle, the human aspect is also equally important. There are numerous villages near the boundary-line which exist on either side of the boundary. There are also households, particularly in Nagaland, whose either the kitchen is on the other side, or the living room. Moreover, lack of proper development in the border areas inside India has also prompted the villagers in the remote areas to depend on trans-boundary activities to sustain themselves. Thus, what would be more practical is that rapid development of the border areas is also urgently required alongside the boundary fence.