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HomeIndiaLAC focus as Rajnath Singh inaugurates 90 border infrastructure projects

LAC focus as Rajnath Singh inaugurates 90 border infrastructure projects

As many as 90 border infrastructure projects – from the Nechiphu tunnel that will provide all-weather connectivity to the strategic Tawang region of Arunachal Pradesh to the foundation stone for a key military airfield in eastern Ladakh’s Nyoma – across 11 states and Union Territories were inaugurated Tuesday by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

Of the 90 projects of the Border Roads Organisation, 64 are in Arunachal Pradesh, Ladakh and Sikkim. These projects will help in faster mobility of troops and equipment to the Line of Actual Control in case of a contingency while also improving overall connectivity for the population.

Inaugurating the projects via virtual mode at an event in Samba in Jammu, Rajnath Singh said the Nyoma airfield “will act as a staging ground for Indian troops at forward posts in eastern Ladakh… and will be a game-changer for our armed forces”.

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In the last three years, India has ramped up infrastructure development along the LAC, both in eastern Ladakh and the North-East.

The projects include 11 in Jammu and Kashmir, five in Mizoram, three in Himachal Pradesh, two each in Uttarakhand and West Bengal and one each in Nagaland, Rajasthan and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Worth over Rs 2,900 crore, the projects include the Nechiphu tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh, two airfields in West Bengal, two helipads along with 22 roads and 63 bridges.

Once operational, the 500-metre long Nechiphu tunnel on the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang Road, along with the Se La tunnel currently under construction, will provide round-the-year connectivity to the strategic Tawang sector along the LAC.

The Tawang region provides the easiest access to the Brahmaputra plains and the shortest route to Tezpur in Assam. The lines of communication from Tawang also stretch to Guwahati and the extended Siliguri Corridor, which makes it militarily important.

The tunnel will bypass the Nechiphu Pass that has foggy weather conditions, a major hindrance for military convoys and other traffic. It will facilitate faster mobility of troops and equipment to the LAC by cutting short the existing distance by around 5 km. India uses Bomdila, Nechiphu and Se La for deployment of forces.

Singh said the BRO will soon set a record with the construction of the Shinku La tunnel, the world’s highest tunnel at an altitude of 15,855 feet. It will connect Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal Pradesh to the Zanskar Valley in Ladakh and provide all-weather connectivity.

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Other key projects inaugurated include the Bagdogra and Barrackpore airfields in West Bengal. Reconstructed at a cost of over Rs 500 crore, the airfields are a significant addition to air infrastructure in the North-East and will bolster the preparedness of the IAF while facilitating commercial flight operations in the region.

Singh also inaugurated the Devak Bridge on the Bishnah-Kaulpur-Phulpur Road in J&K’s Samba district. A statement released by the government said the state-of-the-art 422.9 metre-long Class 70 RCC Devak bridge is of strategic importance as it will “enhance the operational preparedness of the Armed Forces and boost socio-economic development of the region.”

The BRO has completed the construction of these strategically-important projects in record time, most of them in a single working season using state-of-the-art technology.

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In his speech, Singh said the BRO has constructed infrastructure projects in several countries such as Myanmar and Bhutan and helped in strengthening peace and cooperation with them.

Through its infrastructure projects, the BRO, he said, is not only securing India’s borders, but also playing a key role in the socio-economic development of far-flung areas. He praised the cooperation of state governments, despite ideological differences, towards securing national interests.

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With the inauguration of 90 projects, 295 infrastructure projects of the BRO, at an overall cost of Rs 8,000 crore, have been inaugurated since 2021.

© The Indian Express (P) Ltd

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