Defence Minister Rajnath Singh dedicated to the nation 44 bridges made by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) across seven states/UTs, through video-conferencing on Monday (October 12), agencies report.
He also laid the foundation stone for Nechiphu Tunnel on the road to Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh. Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, Army chief MM Naravane and MoS Jitendra Singh were present at the ceremony.
Last week, the Defence Minister had said that the strategically important Atal Tunnel is dedicated to the armed forces protecting India’s borders and those living in the remote terrains. “I do not need to explain the importance of this tunnel. Its strategic importance is understood by everyone. It will ensure speedy and faster transportation of rations, weapons and other logistics. It will also help in faster deployment of personnel. Situated on the border of two nations, it is dedicated to those protecting our borders, and those who live in those areas,” Singh said at the inaugural ceremony in Manali.
“You are well aware of the situation created along our northern and eastern borders. First Pakistan, and now also by China, as if a border dispute is being created under a mission. We have a border of about 7,000 km with these countries, where the tension remains,” he said.
“Under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is not only facing these crises strongly, but is also bringing major and historical changes in all the areas,” Singh said.
Most of the 44 bridges, including seven in Ladakh, are located at strategically important areas and will help the armed forces in ensuring quick movement of troops and weapons, officials said.
The defence minister also complimented the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for working tirelessly even during the coronavirus-induced lockdown period.
“The BRO has continued operations in the north-eastern states, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. BRO continued its work while ensuring that snow clearance is not delayed at remote locations,” he said.
“I am happy to know that over 2,200 km of roads have been cut by the BRO during the last two years, using the latest technologies, and state-of-the-art equipment. Also, surfacing was carried out on about 4,200 km of roads,” he added.
Amid the border standoff with China, India is expediting work on several key projects, including on a strategic road linking Darcha in Himachal Pradesh with Ladakh that will crisscross a number of high-altitude snow-bound passes.
The nearly 290-km-long road will be crucial for the movement of troops and heavy weaponry into the frontier bases of the Ladakh region and will provide a crucial link to the Kargil region.