Boosting connectivity in far flung border areas of the country, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday dedicated 44 bridges to the Nation. Also, Singh virtually laid the foundation stone for Nechiphu Tunnel on the road to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh.
Constructed by Border Road Organisation (BRO), these strategically important bridges are spread across seven states and union territories including Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim in the Northeast.
The Defence Minister congratulated DG and all ranks of BRO for their achievements and said that dedication of 44 bridges in one go in itself was a record. He lauded the efforts of BRO for completing the bridges in the challenging times of COVID-19 and despite border tensions and disputes caused by Pakistan and China.
Lt Gen Harpal Singh, DG BRO, said the 44 bridges of various spans ranging from 30 metre to 484 metre are located in J&K (10), Ladakh (8), Himachal Pradesh (2), Punjab (4), Uttarakhand (8), Arunachal Pradesh (8) and Sikkim (4).
These bridges improve connectivity in the far flung areas of Western, Northern and Northeast sectors and fulfills the aspirations of the locals. They will also facilitate transport and logistics requirements of the armed forces throughout the year.
Meanwhile, the 450 metre long, bi-lane tunnel in Arunachal would ensure all weather connectivity across Nechiphu Pass besides providing a safe and secure passage through accident prone areas.
The tunnel will bypass the existing portion of the road, which remains foggy all the year round leading to several casualties in the past.
Defence Minister Singh said, roads and bridges are the lifeline of any nation and play a vital role in the socio-economic development of remote regions. He reiterated Centre’s commitment to boost development activities in border areas, and said that progress of all projects is regularly being monitored and adequate funds are being provided for their timely execution.
He said that the annual budget of BRO that varied from Rs 3,300 Crores to Rs 4,600 Crores in years 2008-2016, saw a substantial rise and is pegged at over Rs 11,000 Crores in 2020-21. There was no reduction of this budget despite COVID-19.