People Living In Border Areas Are India’s Strategic Assets: Rajnath Singh

Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a visit to Ladakh, on Friday said the Centre’s aim is to ensure the progress of far-flung areas to fulfil the security needs of the country.

Leh:  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a visit to Ladakh, on Friday said the Centre’s aim is to ensure the progress of far-flung areas to fulfil the security needs of the country.

Singh inaugurated 75 infrastructure projects spread across six States and two Union Territories, during his visit to Ladakh. These projects have been built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

Singh also inaugurated the Shyok Setu at Leh. Director General, BRO Lt Gen Rajeev Choudhary was also present at the occasion. After inaugurating the projects, Singh interacted with the locals.

“The people living in border areas are our strategic assets. Infrastructure is being rapidly developed in border areas. We cannot say enough in praise for BRO for the work they have done here,” Defence Minister told Sources.

These 75 projects: 45 bridges, 27 roads, two Helipads and a Carbon Neutral Habitat- are spread across six States and two UTs. Twenty of these projects are in Jammu and Kashmir; 18 each in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh; 5 in Uttarakhand and 14 in other border states of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan.

Speaking on the occasion, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reaffirmed the government’s commitment to ensure the progress of far-flung areas to fulfil the security needs of the country, stressing 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 new 75 projects as a testament to that resolve and said that these bridges, roads and helipads will facilitate military and civil transport in far-flung areas of the western, northern and northeastern parts of the country, forming a part of the development chain.

He described connectivity with border areas as one of the focus areas of the government for the holistic development of the nation.

Singh said, “Lack of infrastructure development in J-K for decades post-independence was one of the reasons behind the rise of terrorism in the UT. These internal disturbances resulted in a significant decline in tourist footfall that impacted Ladakh also, as well as the entire nation. Now, due to the government’s efforts, the region is witnessing a new dawn of peace and progress.”

Our aim is to continue with the development of all states/UTs of the country. Soon, all the remote areas will be connected with the rest of the country and together we will take the nation to newer heights of progress. BRO has a crucial role in achieving this objective,” added the Minister.

On the occasion, Singh also laid the foundation stones of Himank Air Despatch Complex being constructed in Chandigarh and a BRO Museum at Leh.

According to the Defence Ministry statement, these strategically important projects have been constructed at a total cost of Rs 2,180 crore by the BRO in record time, many of which have been completed in a single working season using state-of-the-art technology.

Appreciating the grit and determination of BRO for achieving the feat despite challenging weather conditions, Rajnath Singh pointed out that the projects will bolster the country’s defence preparedness and ensure the economic development of border areas.

The highlight of the event was the onsite inauguration of 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 the logistics movement of the Armed Forces.

Other projects inaugurated virtually by Singh include two helipads, one each in Hanle and Thakung, in Eastern Ladakh. These helipads will enhance the operational capabilities of the Indian Air Force in the region.

The BRO’s first Carbon Neutral Habitat at a height of 19,000 feet for its personnel was also 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 the accommodation of 57 personnel and thermal comfort during extreme weather. It will enable BRO to operate efficiently during large part of winters, said the Defence Ministry statement.

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With the onset of winter, once the passes close due to heavy snowfall, BRO extensively utilises air effort for the movement of men, machinery and material to far-flung areas. The existing Air Despatch subunit located at Chandigarh is being upgraded for providing comfort to transiting troops and to ensure efficient and uninterrupted delivery of essential stores and equipment for the execution of works on the ground.

The BRO will be undertaking the construction of the new Complex at Chandigarh by incorporating the latest 3D printing technology and once completed, the building will boast of being the world’s largest 3D Printed Complex.

To honour the sacrifices of its personnel and institutionalise and put on record the achievements of BRO, a Museum at Leh is being set up, which will be a source of information and inspiration. This museum building will also be constructed using 3D Printing Technology and on completion, will become the world’s highest 3D Printed Building.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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