In a presentation to the parliamentary panel on external affairs, Deepak Kapoor, former Army chief Gen (Retd.), the Ministry of Home Affairs and Defence ministry, said that border infrastructure projects have been delayed due to want of environmental clearances. The committee noted that environmental clearances for border infrastructure projects have been streamlined. However, it is strongly desired that the delays should be suitably taken up with respective state and central authorities to satisfactorily reconcile environmental imperatives with national security requirements.
The House panel, chaired by Shashi Tharoor, made these observations in the report on ‘Sino-India relations including Doklam, Border situation and cooperation in international organisations’.
The committee said during its visit to the India-China border areas, they were shown pictures of infrastructure developed on both the sides of the border and major discrepancies were clearly visible. “The Committee also noted that a lot of border infrastructure projects have been delayed due to want of environmental clearance. In some of the cases the delay was unconscionably long, given the fact that India’s national security is at stake at most places on the India-China border,” the committee said in its report.
For ten weeks between June and August 2017, Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a standoff in the Doklam area of Sikkim sector. The standoff began in June after the Indian Army objected to and stalled road construction activity by the Chinese Army in the area, which is part of the Doklam plateau at the tri-junction of India, Bhutan and China. The standoff ended on August 28 after both countries mutually agreed to de-escalate tensions.