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No green nod needed for defence projects along India-China border

 It will give Defence free hand to implement projects within 100-km of the LAC The government signalled on Thursday that it will not allow environmental considerations to veto the development of its defence infrastructure along the Sino-Indian border. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar revealed that a policy was in the works that would free the Defence Ministry from seeking environment clearances from the Centre for constructing border roads and other strategically important projects within 100-km of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

 

The 4,056 km-long LAC, which passes through Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim, is at the centre of Sino-Indian negotiations to finalise a permanent border between the two neighbours. Mr. Javadekar pointed out that the new policy would empower States to take a call on environment and forest clearances within 100 km of the LAC. Observers said the statement comes within days of the warm welcome accorded to the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the capital, signalling that India is unlikely to dilute its defence posture, while it advances its robust engagement with Beijing in multiple fields.

 

 Hindu, Delhi, 13th June 2014