BOR­DER FO­CUS Projects in Arunachal, Sikkim, J&K, among oth­ers, will cost ₹21,040 crore

Hindustan Times (Amritsar) - - Front Page - Rahul Singh [email protected]­dus­tan­times.com ■

The Cen­tral gov­ern­ment will con­struct 44 strate­gic roads along the bor­der with China and over 2,100 km of ax­ial and lat­eral roads in Pun­jab and Ra­jasthan, abut­ting Pak­istan, a CPWD doc­u­ment shows.

All ef­forts to im­prove in­fra­struc­ture along the bor­der are most wel­come. These projects will be help­ful for...mil­i­tary and civil­ian pur­poses

SL NARASIMHAN (RETD), Lieu­tenant Gen­eral

NEWDELHI: The gov­ern­ment is set to clear the con­struc­tion of 44 “strate­gi­cally im­por­tant roads” along the In­dia-China bor­der as New Delhi has sharp­ened its fo­cus on ramp­ing up bor­der in­fra­struc­ture to counter Beijing, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­tral Pub­lic Works Depart­ment (CPWD)’s 2018-19 an­nual re­port. The roads in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Jammu and Kash­mir, Ut­tarak­hand and Hi­machal Pradesh are ex­pected to be built at cost of around ₹21,040 crore, the re­port adds.

The de­tailed project re­ports (DPRs) for the roads, which are aimed at swifter mo­bil­i­sa­tion of troops, have been sub­mit­ted to the Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi-headed Cab­i­net Com­mit­tee on Se­cu­rity for ap­proval.

The con­struc­tion work is ex­pected to be split be­tween the Bor­der Roads Or­gan­i­sa­tion (BRO) and the CPWD, two gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials said on con­di­tion of anonymity.

BRO and CPWD are cur­rently en­gaged in the con­struc­tion of 73 strate­gic roads mea­sur­ing 4,643 km along the In­dia-China bor­der. The BRO, which comes un­der the de­fence min­istry, is con­struct­ing 61 of these roads. The CPWD is build­ing the re­main­ing 12.

“All ef­forts to im­prove in­fra­struc­ture along the bor­der are most wel­come. These projects will be help­ful for both mil­i­tary and civil­ian pur­poses,” said Lieu­tenant Gen­eral SL Narasimhan (retd), who com­manded a corps in the North-East and is cur­rently a Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sory Board mem­ber.

Twenty-two foot tracks mea­sur­ing 750 km are also in the works to sup­port the move­ment of In­doTi­betan Bor­der Po­lice (ITBP) per­son­nel in for­ward ar­eas of Arunachal Pradesh, the re­port said. They are likely to cost 1,275 crore.

Projects along the In­dia-China bor­der form the bulk of the CPWD’s work. The CPWD is also set to ex­e­cute projects along the bor­der with Pak­istan. It will con­struct ax­ial and lat­eral roads mea­sur­ing around 2,200 km along the In­dia-Pak­istan bor­der in Pun­jab and Ra­jasthan at a cost of ₹5,450 crore, the re­port said. “To se­cure the vast and re­mote bor­der ar­eas of Ra­jasthan and Pun­jab, the DPRs of con­struct­ing lat­eral and ax­ial roads along the Indo-Pak Bor­der are un­der prepa­ra­tion in CPWD.” The CPWD is also eye­ing the con­struc­tion of per­ma­nent in­te­grated build­ings at 96 ITBP bor­der out­posts. These build­ings in high-al­ti­tude ar­eas will have ther­mal in­su­la­tion and re­new­able en­ergy tech­nolo­gies. The re­port said the prepa­ra­tion of DPRs for the ₹2,500-crore project was in full swing.

De­vel­op­ing bor­der in­fra­struc­ture in the North east has been among the gov­ern­ment’s top pri­or­i­ties. Modi had on De­cem­ber 25 in­au­gu­rated the Bogibeel Bridge in As­sam to im­prove road and rail con­nec­tiv­ity in the re­gion, es­pe­cially to Arunachal Pradesh. The bridge fa­cil­i­tates the move­ment of troops in a strate­gi­cally sen­si­tive re­gion. The gov­ern­ment has fo­cused on build­ing in­fra­struc­ture in the North-East as part of its Act East pol­icy to de­velop the re­gion and use it as a link to parts of South and South East Asia.

■ Twenty-two foot tracks mea­sur­ing 750km are also in the works to sup­port the move­ment of ITBP in Arunachal Pradesh. PTI FILE

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