Walong (Arunachal Pradesh) [India], Mar 31 (ANI): Welcome to India's eastern-most administrative circle, Kibithu, nestled in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh. ANI visited the area to take stock of the situation - specifically, the state of infrastructure on the Chinese side.
While standing close to the old bunkers and looking towards the Chinese side, the expansive building with red roof stands prominent. It is one of the important buildings perched on the plains called 'Tatu'.
After understanding the issues from an officer in uniform, one realises that in recent times, the entire West Bank of Ngi Chu has been spruced up with the Tatu plains' left half being a military infrastructure and the right half being the two separate blocks of houses laid in a planned manner for people to live. The two blocks, as told, are villages with the block having 70 houses with blue roofs named Sama village and the other block of 20 houses with blue roofs on the edge, towards China, named as Sapchu. Ngi Chu is the river as named in China. She becomes Lohit after it crosses the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The planning behind this whole military complex is visible as it has training areas for soldiers and barracks for them and more people to live. New Tatu Camp (the huge land is called Tatu plains) came into being after the Old Tatu Camp (OTC) was washed away during flash floods. The three blocks of OTC still stand prominently with one of them missing its roof.
The well made three-storey building, with cream-coloured walls, is the New Tatu Camp (NTC) of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) right opposite India's Kibithu area of the Eastern Arunachal Pradesh. Keeping the NTC in centre, it is flanked on both sides with two plain areas. The one on the left, having white targets neatly lined up, is the Small Arms Firing Range and on the right flank is the plain ground that has a massive base of concrete at the centre. This big block, due to its sheer size, emanates thought of it coming up as the Helipad.
The NTC contains the main administrative building housing the offices and abodes of about 60 to 70 PLA soldiers. Sepoy Pushp Singh posted at Kibithu since two years tells, "The Chinese soldiers train there but mostly they are not seen".
There is Small Arms Range on the left of the NTC, a physical training area with ropes and obstacles laid below the range and the possible Helipad on the other side.
Also jutting out from the ground are the two structures, which attract attention. On preening through binoculars, it becomes clear that Grey Tower made of iron planks with white antennae on the four sides at the top is a clear evidence of the way telecommunications have been a prominent part of the Chinese plan for this complex of Tatu, which is normally put together with the Rima Military complex. Rima is placed on the eastern side of Ngi Chu, which beyond Dichu Pass is named Lohit River.
The other circular and green-coloured two-storey building is the Observation Post of the Military Establishment. This joint layout of the huge military buildup is called as the Rima-Tatu Military complex.
Communication, whether road or telephone and mobile, has been a big problem for both civil and military. Whereas strong signals of the Chinese mobile network are available even many kilometres inside the LAC.
Once you leave Walong towards Kibithu, the Chinese network coverage spills over into Indian side, changes between Indian and Chinese network sporadically. Everyone at Walong warned us not to select the Chinese network as it leads to complications.
To understand the LAC, here it comes down to Dichu, which is the only perennial pass in this area from the left hill complex. It picks gradual height from here, rises to the right side and goes up to the Trijunction, where the boundaries of Myanmar meet with that of China and India.
Don't look for pillars or wires to separate borders here. The armies, on both the sides, guard their respective areas on the basis of what they perceive is their land.
Speaking to ANI, Subedar Netar Singh says, "We are mandated to maintain the sanctity of LAC and for it, we are always prepared."
The spirit of Indian soldiers overpowers the vagaries of weather and terrain. The motivated soldiers and their spirited conduct in this area will invariably draw attention towards them.
The focus on the Indian side of the infrastructure and communication network needs a focused and determined work. The sooner this is put into practice, the better it will be. (ANI)