Arunachal body appeals to Bhutan to complete Lumla-Tashigang Road
The Tawang unit of the powerful Arunachal Pradesh Gaon Bura Association has urged the King of Bhutan to give permission to build the Bhutan portion of the Lumla-Tashigang Road.
The demand comes even as the Arunachal Pradesh Government led by Chief Minister Nabam Tuki has taken the initiative to construct the Lumla-Tashigang Road.
The Indian government of late has shown keen interest to build the Lumla-Tashigang Road to reduce the distance between Tawang, which houses the world-famous Tawang Monastery, and Guwahati, the gateway to North East India, by about 200 km and travel time by almost six hours.
Currently, it takes around 15 hours to travel from Tawang to Guwahati via Bhalukpong and Tezpur, a distance of about 600 km.
The road is not fair-weather because of Sela pass located at an altitude of 13,700 feet while the 400 km Tawang-Lumla-Tashigang would be a laissez-faire road and help reopen the age-old traditional border trade between the people of Bhutan and Tawang district.
The district GBs led by president Kota Lama, in a memorandum, has pleaded with the Bhutan King for permission to rebuilding of hardly 10 km road which would complete the road.
Pointing out that the people of Bhutan and the Monpas of Tawang district have the same religion, culture and traditions, the GBs said that since olden days the people of Tawang used to visit religious places, like Gombay Kora, Durang Chorten, Gonja Ney, Tango Ney, Thimpu Dzongkha etc. in Bhutan while the Bhutanese used to visit for pilgrimage to Tawang Monastery, Gorsam Chorten, Zangdopari Gompa, Taksang Gompa, Urgelling Gompa, Khinmay Gompa, Lhu-gyepu Phobrang (Muktur), Thongmin Gompa, Manma-Gyalam Ney, Thanga-Fe Ney, Banga Jang Ney, Sarong Gompa, Changbu Gompa, Gomshin Ney etc with great difficulties by undertaking foot march for days together.
It said road connectivity would facilitate easy movement of people from both the countries.
The opening of Lumla-Tashigang road would also be useful for the Indian Army guarding the border, said Tawang District Seva Dal chief organizer Lobsang Dawa, while appreciating the CM for his assurance on reopening of the road soon in his address during the recent Tawang festival in presence of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
The proposed STOL (Short take off a and landing) airport at Lumla would be a boon for security of the nation as Lumla's weather remains conducive for air operation, commented Lumla circle anchal chairperson Lobsang Yonten.
Yonten's comment supports the recent statement of Air Chief Marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne that the outcome of 1962 Chinese aggression would have been different had India used air power.
The views in the above article are those of Mr. Pradeep Kumar, Editor-in-Chief of the Arunachal Front.