New Delhi: Beginning in a new era in connectivity of roads and bridges in sensitive areas close to the western, northern and north-eastern borders, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh today dedicated 44 major permanent bridges to the nation. He also laid the foundation stone for Nechipu tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh. These bridges are of strategic importance and provide connectivity to remote areas. These 44 bridges are spread over seven states / union territories.
The dedication ceremony was conducted in New Delhi through video conference in the presence of Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General MM Narwana and Defense Secretary Ajay Kumar. Union Minister Shri Kiren Rijiju, Chief Ministers of Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Sikkim and Uttarakhand, Lt. Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, Honorable Members of Parliament, civil / military dignitaries as well as the people of the respective States / UTs at various sites Participated via a video link.
In his address, the Defense Minister congratulated the Director General and all ranks of the Border Roads Organization (BRO) for their achievements and said that the dedication of 44 bridges in one go is a record. Rajnath Singh said that in the challenging times of Kovid-19 and despite border tensions and disputes by Pakistan and China, the country is not only facing them, but under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, bringing historic changes in all areas of development. Used to be.
Appreciating the BRO for its role in improving the infrastructure in the border areas, Rajnath Singh said that these bridges have improved connectivity in remote areas of western, northern and north-east regions and provide connectivity to local people. Fulfilled the aspirations. He said that these will also meet the transport and logistics requirements of the armed forces throughout the year.
The Defense Minister said that roads and bridges are the lifeline of any nation and play an important role in the socio-economic development of remote areas. Reiterating the Central Government’s commitment to promote development related activities in the border areas, he said that progress of all projects is being monitored regularly and adequate funds are being provided for their timely execution.
He said that the annual budget of BRO increased from Rs 3,300 crore to Rs 4,600 crore between the years 2008-2016. Not only this, in 2020-21 this amount exceeded Rs 11,000 crore. Despite the Kovid-19, there was no reduction in this budget.
The Defence Minister also announced that the government has made provisions for high-altitude clothing to BRO engineers and workers.
Rajnath Singh also laid the foundation stone of the strategically important Nechipu tunnel on the road to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. This 450-meter-long, two-lane tunnel will ensure all-weather connectivity in Nechipu Pass and provide a safe passage into accident prone areas.
Addressing the dignitaries, the Director General of BRO, Lt Gen Harpal Singh said that 44 bridges of varying sizes ranging from 30 meters to 484 meters Jammu and Kashmir (10), Ladakh (08), Himachal Pradesh (02), Punjab (04) , Uttarakhand (08), Arunachal Pradesh (08) and Sikkim (04). They are of strategic importance and are designed to facilitate the heavy movement of civil and military traffic in border areas. In line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, these bridges will contribute to the overall economic development of the far-flung areas and also help in the rapid deployment of the armed forces in strategically important areas.
He said that apart from accelerating road construction, BRO has laid special emphasis on construction of bridges by completing 28 major bridges last year, while construction of 102 major bridges is being completed this year. Of these, 54 bridges have already been completed. More than 60 Bailey bridges have also been constructed by the BRO to cater to the immediate needs of the armed forces and people living in remote areas.
The BRO has also worked consistently during the Kovid-19 epidemiological restrictions with snow clearance for works of strategic importance such as construction of major bridges and roads, Atal Tunnel Rohtang, Sela Tunnel etc. and inauguration of the strategic mountain route.
Despite the unprecedented snowfall, breaking all 60-year records, all strategic passes and roads were cleared for traffic for about a month before their average annual opening dates. This brought relief to the people of the border areas and ensured rapid movement of troops and logistics.