India-Myanmar Current Affairs - 2019

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IAF inaugurates Vijaynagar’s Advance Landing Ground in Arunachal Pradesh

The Indian Air Force (IAF) inaugurated the resurfaced runway at the Vijaynagar Advance Landing Ground (ALG) in Changlang District in Arunachal Pradesh, which will enable operations by military transport aircraft at the base near the China border. This has also re-established military transport aircraft connectivity at this Eastern most hamlet of India.

The resurfaced runway was jointly inaugurated by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Air Commander Air Marshal R D Mathur and Eastern Army Commander Lieutenant General Anil Chauhan.

About Vijay Nagar ALG

Background: As part of efforts to strengthen military infrastructure along China border, IAF reactivated 8 ALGs to enable aircraft operations along border with China. The Vijay Nagar ALG was 1st activated in 2011-12 and was non-operational for fixed-wing operations since 2016. However, the runway has been resurfaced under recently completed works there.

The repair of runway at Vijaynagar, was coordinated by Air Force Station, Jorhat. It was a challenging task as there being no road connectivity, all the load had to be airlifted by helicopters.

Benefits of Airfield

The movement of larger transport aircraft to and from this airfield will act as a catalyst for development of area and it will also facilitate movement of locals.

It is also important not only for local administration in extending their reach to residents of this remote area but also crucial from a strategic point of view. ALG will assist in effective management of borders with Myanmar and China (due to its location and proximity to both the borders) as well as will facilitate launch of joint operations by Indian Army and Indian Air Force for defence of Vijaynagar salient.

NOTE:

India shares 3488 km of border with China, out of this State of Arunachal Pradesh share 1126 km length of India-China border called Line of Actual Control (LAC). India shares 1643 km of border with Myanmar and the border of Arunachal Pradesh with Myanmar is 526 km long.

India hands over 250 pre-fabricated houses to Myanmar’s Rakhine State

India handed over 250 pre-fabricated houses for use of displaced Muslim minorities, who are currently residing in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The houses delivered to Myanmar for displaced Rohingya returnees in Rakhine State are under India’s ‘Rakhine State Development Programme’ (RSDP) for $25 Million for a period of 5 years.

Background

In December 2017 a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Myanmar on Rakhine State Development Programme (RSDP). $25 million RSDP focused on providing a sustainable solution in violence-torn Rakhine state for socio-economic development. It also aimed towards contributing to socio-economic development in northern Rakhine State.

Need: Due to rising violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, 1000s of them have entered India and Bangladesh to seek refuge.

Key Highlights

Saurabh Kumar, Ambassador of India to Myanmar, handed over documents related to 250 pre-fabricated houses for use of displaced returnees from Bangladesh to U Aung Kyaw Zan, Joint-chairman of Returnee Resettlement Work Committee and Minister for Electricity, Industry and Transportation of Rakhine State Government at a ceremony in Maung Daw, Rakhine State.

Out of 250 pre-fabricated houses put together by India in three villages in Northern Rakhine region 148 units are in Shwe Zar village, 60 in Kyein Chaung village and 42 in Nan Thar Taung.

These houses besides being rust free and water proof are designed to survive earthquakes and cyclonic storms.

Houses Made By: The project was undertaken by Indian companies- M/s Hindustan Prefab Limited as Project Management Consultant and M/s Enertech Limited as contractor.

Way Ahead: Construction of 250 houses was 1st initiative under RSDP has been successfully completed. Now another 22 proposals which include construction-related projects, capacity building projects, solar power related projects and agriculture mechanisation projects are presently under consideration.