India matching up to China's infra capabilities on LAC: DG BRO

Pahalgam (J-K):  India is matching up its infrastructure to China’s projects at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and there is no need for concern, Border Roads Organisation (BRO) chief Lieutenant General Rajiv Chaudhry said on Saturday.

Chaudhry was here to review works on the routes of the Amarnath Yatra. The annual pilgrimage to the cave shrine, located at a height of 3,880 metres in the south Kashmir Himalayas, will begin on July 1 and end on August 31.

“We are competing much better than what you think China is making. So, there is no need of any concern or overly concern that we are somewhere behind. We are matching up to the capabilities of infrastructure development on the borders,” Lt Gen Chaudhry told PTI Video here.

He said the government has already announced 662 “Vibrant Village” packages for areas near the border.

“Union Home Minister Amit Shah himself went to Kibithoo village in Arunachal Pradesh which is the eastern most post and what we call the first village of Arunachal Pradesh. Of the total, 441 villages are in Arunachal Pradesh itself. So, on the northern borders, the government is paying a lot of attention and development is taking place in a very accelerated manner,” the BRO’s director general said.

Lt Gen Chaudhry said in the last two years, 205 projects have been completed on the LAC. These were dedicated to the nation by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and this year, “we are attempting to complete 176 projects worth Rs 6,200 crore”, he said.

“The Centre has increased our budget this year by about 100 per cent. The government has a lot of faith in us, and we build roads for five ministries. Our budget is increased every year. This year, our target is to work on the projects worth Rs 16,000 crore, including roads, bridges and tunnels and airfields,” he said.

Asked about strategically important projects in Ladakh, the BRO’s top officer said the Chusul-Dungti-Fukche-Demchok highway is a very important road. In the next two months, work will start on the Nyoma airfield, which is one of the highest airfields in the world, he said.

These are two very important projects in Ladakh, Lt Gen Chaudhry said.

In Arunachal Pradesh, Lt Gen Chaudhry said the work on tunnels has been almost completed. He also said on the Ladakh-HP border, once the Shinku La tunnel is completed, it will be the world’s highest.

Earlier, briefing the media about the works on the yatra routes, he said work is going on round the clock and would be concluded by June 15.

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The routes have been widened and gradients and turns have undergone maintenance, Lt Gen Chaudhry said.

The basic scope of work involves snow clearance, widening of routes, restoration of all foot bridges, fixing of hand rails and construction of breast walls, he said. Work is being done to make sure there is no inconvenience due to landslides, the official said and added that this year, five lakh pilgrims are expected.

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