ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu has lauded the decision of the central government to implement a comprehensive fencing initiative along the India-Myanmar border. Describing it as a "great move in the right direction," the chief minister expressed confidence that this measure would make the borders foolproof, utilizing state-of-the-art surveillance technology to monitor and restrict the movement of unscrupulous elements.
Arunachal Pradesh, sharing a 520-km-long border with Myanmar, stands to benefit significantly from the complete fencing, which is expected to bolster national security. The chief minister highlighted the importance of state-of-the-art surveillance in ensuring the effectiveness of the border control measures.
The move is poised to significantly change the existing Free Movement Regime (FMR) between India and Myanmar. Under the FMR, residents living near the border were permitted to venture up to 16 km into each other's territory without requiring any documentation. The implementation of the border fence is likely to put an end to this regime and impose stricter controls on cross-border movements.
The India-Myanmar border, stretching over 1643 kilometers in the Northeast, traverses through states such as Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, and Arunachal Pradesh. The decision aligns with India's Act East policy, reflecting the government's commitment to fortifying its borders.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah reiterated the government's dedication to building impenetrable borders. He announced plans to construct a fence along the entire 1643-kilometer-long India-Myanmar border in the Northeast. Shah emphasized the importance of better surveillance and revealed that a patrol track along the border would be paved.
A 10-kilometer stretch at Moreh in Tengnoupal district of Manipur has been fenced, marking the initial progress of the ambitious project. Two pilot projects, utilizing a Hybrid Surveillance System (HSS), are underway, with one-kilometer stretches in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur being fenced. Furthermore, approvals for fence works covering approximately 20 kilometers in Manipur have been granted, with construction set to commence soon.