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Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurating the bridge over Diffo river in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday
Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman inaugurating the bridge over Diffo river in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday|EastMojo image
NEWS

Arunachal: Sitharaman flags off strategic bridge near China border

Besides connecting Lower Dibang Valley with Lohit, Namsai and Anjaw districts, the 426.6-mt-long bridge over Diffo river will also enhance operational capability

Damien Lepcha

Itanagar: Union defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday inaugurated a strategic bridge over Diffo (Chipu) river near the Indo-China border in Arunachal Pradesh’s Lower Dibang Valley district.

Besides connecting Lower Dibang Valley with Lohit, Namsai and Anjaw districts, the 426.60-mt-long bridge will also enhance operational capability; facilitate faster induction of force multipliers and also long-range vectors and troops into Dibang Valley.

Speaking on the occasion, Sitharaman appreciated the Border Roads Organization (BRO) for completing the construction of the bridge that will facilitate the movement of troops and also link the markets of the neighboring district. Switching of forces between Dibang, Dalai and Lohit Valley can also be executed in a faster time frame with the opening of the new bridge.

“Although the bridge took a long time to complete, I commend the BRO on the good quality roads and bridges they have been coming up with in order to enhance the connectivity of the region,” she said.

Speed in work execution, use of new technology, outsourcing of work, if required for timely completion and a renewed vigor is needed to provide proper connectivity to such areas, she said.

BRO director general Harpal Singh briefed the minister about the works his organisation has being carrying out in the state and said the bridge over the Diffo (Chipu) river, which is a part of the Trans Arunachal Highway (NH-13), would also usher in economic prosperity for people of the region.

Located along the Roing-Korona-Paya road which is around 25 km from Roing, the district headquarters of Lower Dibang Valley, the construction works for the bridge had started in March 2011 and completed in December last year.

The total cost to build the bridge was Rs 4,847.83 lakh and the same was funded by the Union ministry of road transport and highways.

Earlier, the defence minister visited the forward areas in the district.

Accompanied by the Eastern Army Commander, Lieutenant General M M Naravane, GOC Spear Corps, Lieutenant General Rajeev Sirohi and other military and civil officials, she overflew on the forward locations along the Line of Actual Control and visited the Army post at Anini.

The post is located at a height of 5,300 feet.

At the forward post, the minister was briefed on the operational situation and defence preparedness of the armed forces in the Dibang Valley district.

She also interacted with the troops and appreciated their dedication and selfless service in protecting India’s borders in such inhospitable terrain.