In a sign of lowering of temperatures between India and China, a top military official from the Tibet region is currently on an official visit here being hosted by the Eastern Command.

Lt. Gen. Shu Yu Tai, Army Commander of the Tibet Military Region, arrived in India on Monday on a five-day tour during which he would visit Kolkata and Bagdogra, sources in the Army said here.

Chinese team

The tour was described as a goodwill visit and runs concurrently with the visit of a 43-member delegation of military officers from the Chinese National Defence University, an institute on the lines of the National Defence College. Besides New Delhi, during their four-day stay, the delegation will visit Pune, the sources said.

The visit of the Army Commander from the Tibet Military Region assumes significance in the backdrop of reports of violations by the Chinese Army in the Ladakh region and Beijing’s objection to the visit of Tibetan religious leader Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh.

Defence Minister A.K. Antony told the Rajya Sabha that 12 of the 73 roads along the India-China Line of Actual Control have been completed. Work is in progress on 41 other roads.

In a written reply, the Minister said the delay in obtaining forest and wildlife clearance, difficult work conditions in high altitude areas and inadequate labour were some of the reasons why the projects were delayed.

He said the government was making efforts to obtain the required clearances and was coordinating with State governments. The cooperation of the Jharkhand and Orissa governments was being sought for recruitment of migrant labour from these States, he said.

Manpower resources in these project areas have been increased by creating 118 units in the region along with five task forces and nine road construction companies. The Border Roads Organisation, which is constructing 61 of these roads, is making additional recruitment.

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