D’t Know It Was Indian Territory Till Chinese Arrived With Excavators: Officials

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D’t Know It Was Indian Territory Till Chinese Arrived With Excavators: Officials

When the Chinese excavators intruded last month, John, a local porter who helps carry supplies to Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) posts spotted them while he was on a routine trek

Bishing village at Tuting in the Upper Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh is the closest point to where Chinese road construction machines had entered the Line of Actual Control last December. Located just 1.25 km from the McMahon Line, it is also representative of the unconnected places in the country.

The road that was built runs alongside the eastern bank of the blackened waters of the Siang river which flows as Yarlung Tsangpo from Tibet. While the Chinese have a path to enter right through the international border, Bishing does not have a motorable road of its own connecting it to the rest of the Indian territory. Villagers have to walk almost 4 km and then take a bridge across the Siang to reach Geling, which is the point where the motorable road ends.

"The Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) norms say a village needs to have a population of at least 100 to have a government-built road. Bishing has 16 households, with a total population of 54, which is why there is no road here," additional deputy commissioner in-charge of Tuting circle, K Apang, told TOI.

When the Chinese excavators intruded last month, John, a local porter who helps carry supplies to Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) posts spotted them while he was on aroutine trek. The point of incursion also faces the Nyingchi, a prefecture-level city in China, where the Chinese PLA's Tibet Military Command held a live-fire exercise during the Doklam standoff.

He at once alerted the ITBP which, in turn, contacted the Army. The place which the Chinese excavators last reached is the highest point in the area, located at a height of about 4,000 feet. It takes about eight to ten days on foot to reach the place from Bishing village.

"The area where the Chinese managed to reach is highly inaccessible. No one, except village hunters, venture out there due to its steep climb. Till this intrusion, we all thought that this area is a no man's land as there is no river or stream to demarcate the international boundary. We realised that this is Indian territory only when we checked Google maps after the Chinese arrived," Apang said, adding that the Chinese had already constructed a 1.25-km road inside Indian territory.

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