National

No Fresh Issue In Doklam Sikkim: Army

Doklam standoff was primarily a result of a PLA (China's People's Liberation Army) attempt at trying to construct a road in the area about which there are differing perceptions which led to 73 days of standoff in 2017.

Differing perceptions of the LAC have periodically fuelled Indo-China border clashes
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Eastern Army commander Lieutenant General R P Kalita on Friday said there has been no fresh issue with regard to infrastructure development at Doklam in the Sikkim sector, which was witness to a 73-day standoff between the armies of India and China in 2017.

He said that if any such issue arises, it is resolved at the local level itself.

"There has been no fresh development as far as Doklam is concerned with regard to infrastructure development," General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Eastern Command, Lt General Kalita said.

The Doklam standoff was primarily a result of a PLA (China's People's Liberation Army) attempt at trying to construct a road in the area about which there are differing perceptions which led to 73 days of standoff and thereafter through negotiations the issue was resolved, he told reporters at the Eastern Army Command headquarters here.

"Thereafter there is a protocol which is being followed in Doklam area by both sides in which there is regular interaction between the local commanders so that there is no new construction on both sides," he said to a question on whether China is actively building infrastructure such as roads and ropeways on its side in Doklam. 

With regard to development of new roads, bridges and tunnels by India in the northeastern states, especially in the border areas, Kalita said improvement in infrastructure primarily helps in enhancing the armed forces' operational capabilities in terms of force mobilisation in designated areas in the shortest time frame.

He said that apart from roads, infrastructure development means railways, airports, helipads and communication infrastructure as well.

"In last about 10-15 years, (there has been) a huge focus on infrastructure development, particularly in the border areas which definitely are going to assist and enhance our op (operational) capabilities," he added.
 

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