Central govt focuses on devp. of 73 critical roads along LAC

The Indian government is presently emphasising the enhancement of road infrastructure along the India-China border for which 73 critical roads of 4,203 km have been identified as ones in the priority list that need dedicated funding.

The minister of state for Defence, Ajay Bhatt, in a written reply to Naresh Bansal in the Rajya Sabha clarified that the central government fully realises India’s security needs and is reviewing the same from time to time.

It was informed by Bhatt that required measures including infrastructure development such as the construction of roads, tunnels and strategic railway lines are being undertaken taken to safeguard the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of India.

As per the operational requirements of the armed forces and the need for development in the border areas, road construction is taken up by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). About 73 critical roads have been designated as India-China border roads with 4,203 km length and are being accorded highest priority with dedicated funding,” the minister said.

Further, to ensure all-weather connectivity to the far-flung areas, the construction of tunnels has also been undertaken across passes. Currently, works for four tunnels is underway. Likewise, infrastructure development in Uttarakhand is being executed with budgetary support from the ministries of Defence, Home Affairs, state PWD and central projects like Bharatmala and Chardham, the MoS said.

As of date, 21 roads with a length of approximately 800 km are being constructed and upgraded by the BRO over and above certain roads being constructed by the state PWD, Bhatt said.

It was pointed out that the decision by the Indian government also comes at a time when the neighbouring country China has been enhancing road and defence infrastructure for the last several years along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

In January this year, acknowledging the reports of construction by China in the Arunachal Pradesh region, the Ministry of External Affairs had said, “We have seen recent reports on China undertaking construction work along the border areas with India.”

The Indian government had then categorically pointed out that it is keeping a constant watch on all the developments having a bearing on India’s security.

…With IANS inputs

https://www.thestatesman.com/india/centre-roads-lac-1502986493.html

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