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Defence Minister Sitharaman conducts aerial survey of Doklam-Nathula area

The survey comes amid reports that China has maintained a sizeable presence of its troops near the Doklam standoff site

Press Trust of India  |  Gangtok 

Doklam crisis
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is seen interacting with Chinese soldiers at Nathu-la border in Sikkim on Saturday. Photo: PTI

Minister on Saturday made an aerial survey of the Doklam-Nathula area on the Sino-India border, a day after the government said the status quo at the site has not changed since the disengagement on August 28.

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

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 Doklam and its vicinity since the August 28 disengagement.

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

"We have seen recent press reports on Doklam...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 Sriniwas Patil and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling at the Raj Bhavan and they are likely to discuss several issues related to in the border areas with China, the officials said.

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

First Published: Mon, October 09 2017. 02:44 IST