Nirmala Sitharaman conducts aerial survey of Doka La-Nathula area at India-China border

Gangtok:  Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday made an aerial survey of the Doka La-Nathula area on the India-China border, a day after the government said the status quo at the site has not changed since the disengagement on 28 August.

Sikkim government officials said the defence minister also made a survey of the new Pakyong Airport in east Sikkim and neighbouring areas Saturday afternoon.

File image of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. AFP

File image of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. AFP

Sitharaman is on a day-long visit to Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim on Saturday.

The survey follows the external affairs ministry statement on Friday that there were no new developments at the India-China military face-off site in Doka La and its vicinity since the 28 August disengagement.

The statement had come amid reports that China has maintained a sizeable presence of its troops near the Doka La standoff site and even started widening an existing road around 12 kilometre from the area of the face-off.

"We have seen recent press reports on Doka La...The status quo prevails in this area. Any suggestion to the contrary is incorrect," the external affairs ministry had said in the statement.

Sitharaman is scheduled to meet Sikkim governor Srinivas Patil and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at the Raj Bhavan and they are likely to discuss several issues related to defence in the border areas with China, the officials on Saturday said.

Improving strategic infrastructure like border roads in Sikkim, the new airport which is to be inaugurated in November, and development in areas along the India-China border in Sikkim are likely to be discussed, they added.

Updated Date: Oct 07, 2017 18:34 PM

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