Strong border infra essential amid uncertainties: Rajnath

New Delhi: Strong infrastructure in border areas is essential in today’s ‘uncertain times’, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday while dedicating 24 bridges and three roads built by the Border Roads Organisation in four states and two Union Territories.

Out of the 24 bridges, nine are in Jammu and Kashmir, five each in Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, three in Uttarakhand and one each in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Out of the three roads, two are in Ladakh and one is in West Bengal.

“We faced our adversary in the Northern sector recently with grit and determination. It could not have been possible without proper infrastructural development,” Singh said addressing the virtual event from New Delhi.

“The BRO has been fulfilling its duties with utmost dedication. Strong infrastructure in border areas is essential in today’s uncertain times as it strengthens strategic capabilities,” said Rajnath Singh.

“As we move forward in the direction of strengthening our border infrastructure, we have to bolster our surveillance systems as well.

“Problems of infiltration, skirmishes, illegal trade and smuggling, etc often persist in border areas. In view of this, Government had started Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System sometime back,” he said.

The projects were completed on important road axis and laterals along the Northern and Eastern borders of the country.

The main highlight was the inauguration of India’s first indigenous Class 70 140-feet Double-Lane Modular Bridge.

Built at the height of 11,000 feet at Flag Hill Dokala, Sikkim and Chisumle-Demchok road at Umling La Pass at over 19,000 feet in Ladakh, the bridge also holds the Guinness World Record of world’s highest motorable road, a statement by the Defence Ministry said.

Terming the inauguration as a reflection of the BRO’s commitment to the progress of border areas, Rajnath Singh exuded confidence that these construction works would go a long way in the development of strong border infra.

He said the road at Umling-La pass will enable faster movement of Armed Forces, boost tourism and ensure socio economic development of the region.

“Roads in border areas cater to the strategic needs and ensure equal participation of remote areas in the development of the nation,” he said.

BRO has been praised in recent times for its perseverance in achieving the feat despite the challenges of sub-zero temperatures and high altitude.

The indigenous Double-Lane Modular Bridge has been developed at a much lower cost and can be dismantled, if needed, said the minister.

“The Bridge will pave the way for the construction of more bridges in such areas,” said Rajnath Singh while adding that the Bridge is a symbol of the Government’s resolve to provide faster connectivity to border areas.

Earlier in June this year, the defence minister had dedicated to the Nation 12 roads and 63 bridges totalling 75 projects – in 75th year of Independence.

The minister also made mention of the recent milestones of the BRO, including Atal Tunnel, Kailash Mansarovar road, inauguration of 54 bridges and setting up of Centres of Excellence on ‘Road Safety’ & ‘Roads, Bridges, Tunnels and Air-fields’.

Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Science & Technology Dr Jitendra Singh, Army Chief Gen MM Naravane, DG BRO Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry and senior officials of Ministry of Defence were present on the occasion. GOC Chinar Corps Lt Gen DP Pandey attended the event virtually.

UNI

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