India boosts infrastructure along LAC

Srinagar, Oct 28 (Representative) In order to bolster India’s defence preparedness along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday dedicated 75 infrastructure projects built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) at a function in Ladakh. The projects — 45 bridges, 27 roads, two helipads and a Carbon Neutral Habitat — are spread across six states and two Union Territories. Twenty of these are in Jammu and Kashmir, 18 each in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, five in Uttarakhand and 14 in Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. “These strategically important projects have been constructed at a total cost of Rs 2,180 crore by the BRO in a record time, many of which have been completed in a single working season using state-of-the-art technology,” an official spokesman said. Appreciating the grit and determination of BRO, the Minister pointed out that the projects will bolster defence preparedness and ensure economic development of border areas. The highlight of the event was the onsite inauguration of a 120-metre long Class 70 Shyok Setu on D-S-DBO Road at an altitude 14,000 feet.

The bridge will be of strategic importance as it will facilitate logistics movement of the armed forces. Other projects inaugurated virtually by the Minister include two helipads, one each in Hanle and Thakung in Eastern Ladakh. The helipads will enhance the operational capabilities of the Indian Air Force.The BRO’s first Carbon Neutral Habitat at a height of 19,000 feet for its personnel was inaugurated at Hanle. It is BRO’s effort towards contributing to Ladakh’s resolve of becoming the country’s first Carbon Neutral Union Territory.

The key features of this complex include accommodation of 57 personnel and thermal comfort during extreme weather. It will enable BRO to operate efficiently during maximum part of winters. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensure the progress of far-flung areas to fulfil the security needs of the country. He said that infrastructure development, along with the valour of the armed forces, was the main reason that helped India to effectively deal with the recent situation in the northern sector.

He termed the 75 projects as a testament to that resolve and said these bridges, roads and helipads will facilitate military and civil transport in far-flung areas of the western, northern and north-eastern parts of the country, forming a part of development chain.He described connectivity with border areas as one of the focus areas of the government for the holistic development of the nation. “Lack of infrastructure development in Jammu and Kashmir for decades post independence was one of the reasons behind the rise of terrorism. These internal disturbances resulted in significant decline in tourist footfall that impacted Ladakh also as well as the entire nation… BRO has a crucial role in achieving this objective,” he said. The Minister also laid the foundation stones of Himank Air Despatch Complex coming up in Chandigarh and a BRO Museum at Leh. The BRO will be undertaking the construction of the new Complex at Chandigarh by incorporating the latest 3D printing technology. Once completed, the building will boast of the world’s largest 3D Printed Complex.