Leh: Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh on Friday inaugurated as many as 75 infrastructure projects, including roads and bridges, built by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) at a function organised at D-S-DBO road in Ladakh.
Of the total projects dedicated to the nation include 45 bridges, 27 roads, two Helipads & one carbon neutral habitat– are spread across six states & two Union Territories (UTs). Twenty (20) of these projects are in Jammu & Kashmir (J&K); 18 each in Ladakh & Arunachal Pradesh; five in Uttarakhand and 14 in other border states of Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab & Rajasthan.
These strategically important projects have been constructed at a total cost of ₹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, Singh pointed out that the projects will bolster the country’s defence preparedness & ensure 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 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. These helipads will enhance the operational capabilities of the Indian Air Force (IAF) 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 accommodation of 57 personnel and thermal comfort during extreme weather. It will enable BRO to operate efficiently during large 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, 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 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 J&K for decades post independence was one of the reasons behind the rise of terrorism in the UT. These internal disturbances resulted in 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& 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,” Singh said.
The minister also laid the foundation stones of Himank Air Despatch Complex, being constructed in Chandigarh & a BRO Museum at Leh. With the onset of winter, once the passes close due to heavy snowfall, BRO extensively utilises air effort for movement of men, machinery and material to far-flung areas.
The existing air despatch sub unit 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 execution of works on 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.