New Tehri: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Sunday said the Army and the Air Force will give all support to the Uttarakhand government in its efforts to boost connectivity, infrastructure and telecom facilities in areas close to the border with China. Steps are underway, he said, to create advance landing facilities in high altitude areas of the state close to the border.
"We are constantly in touch with the state government and steps are underway to create advance landing facilities or airfields as proposed by the chief minister in high altitude areas of the state close to the China border," the Army Chief said. "The Indian Army or the IAF will give all its support to the state government to boost air, rail or road connectivity in remote border areas in higher altitudes," Gen Rawat said in his address at the second edition of Raibar, a state government-sponsored programme to deliberate on measures for development of the state with focus on remote hilly areas.
Gen Rawat praised the state government for steps being taken to utilise natural resources at its disposal for the state's development. He spoke of efforts being made by the state government to encourage walnut and pine nut farming in high altitude villages and methodical cultivation of medicinal herbs, that the Himalayan region abounds with, for their great commercial value.
"Those who live in Uttarakhand or have love for the land will agree that if there is heaven anywhere in the world it is here and here only. All we have to do is propel it on the path of progress," the Army chief, who himself hails from a village in Pauri district, said.
Noting the large representation of Uttarakhand in the armed forces, he said the state has always been sending its brave soldiers to the borders to protect the country. "I am confident that brave sons and daughters of Uttarakhand will never hesitate in fighting the country's enemies and terrorism even if that means laying down their lives," he said.
Gen Rawat, who along with Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat honoured 30 war widows and mothers of martyred soldiers from the state, said the role played by them in successive wars and counter terrorism operations in Jammu and Kashmir can never be forgotten.