Amidst the ongoing border tensions between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), six critical bridges were unveiled by the defence minister Rajnath Singh today in Jammu and Kashmir. Out of the six bridges built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) four are in Akhnoor sector and two in Jammu-Rajpura area. Constructed at a cost of Rs 45 crore, they are around 300 to 100 metres. All the strategic roads and critical military infrastructures like the construction of major roads, bridges and tunnels are undertaken by the BRO.
Ahead of the inauguration the defence minister had a review meeting with the officials of BRO earlier in the week to talk about improving the infrastructure near the LAC with China and the Line of Control with Pakistan (LOC).
The BRO was directed to fast track the improvement of the infrastructure in the border areas in an effort to ensure smooth and easy movement of the forces.
According to senior MoD officials, the BRO Director General Lieutenant General Harpal Singh had briefed the minister about the projects undertaken including the construction of tunnels, bridges, roads, and airfields in remote border areas. He also talked about the construction projects undertaken in friendly countries in the neighbourhood like Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Bhutan which is in line with the overall strategic objectives.
In June this year, for the Jammu and Kashmir area and Uttarakhand, the government approved an additional Rs 1,691 crore for highway works by the BRO.
And since the time there have been border tensions between India and China along the LAC, Lt Gen Harpal Singh had visited the under-construction 8.8-km-long Atal Rohtang Tunnel. This tunnel is slated to be opened up in September this year.
Update on BRO projects
The organization has managed to execute around 30 per cent more work in 2019-20 as compared to 2018-19. It has executed 1,273 Km formation cutting, 2,214 km of surfacing.
Around Rs 1,715 crore of permanent works has been done — 2,979 Km of major bridges, also, Rs 689 crore has been spent in tunnel works and 2,498 km of re-surfacing in 2019-20. Since 2017-18 the BRO’s activities has witnessed a surge of 44 per cent in formation cutting, 55 per cent in permanent works, 17 per cent in major bridges, 15 per cent in surfacing and 49 per cent in resurfacing works.