Rajnath Singh inaugurates 35 strategic infrastructure projects in border regions

Team India Sentinels Friday 19th of January 2024 12:40 PM

Rajnath Singh inaugurating the 35 infrastructure projects at the Dhak bridge in Uttarakhand, on January 19, 2024. (Photo: X/@rajnathsingh) 

New Delhi: The defence minister, Rajnath Singh, inaugurated 35 infrastructure projects worth ₹670 crore from Dhak bridge site in Uttarakhand, on Friday. The Uttarakhand chief minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami, was also present during the event.

In a ceremony organized by the Border Roads Organization at Dhak bridge on the Joshimath-Malari Road in Uttarakhand, Singh inaugurated six roads and 29 bridges. These infrastructure projects were executed under challenging weather conditions, navigating the most inhospitable terrain. Notably, 11 projects were completed in Jammu & Kashmir, nine in Ladakh, eight in Arunachal Pradesh, three in Uttarakhand, two in Sikkim, and one each in Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh.

The centrepiece of the event was the inauguration of a cutting-edge 93-metre-long and 12-metre-wide Indian Roads Congress Class 70R bridge over Dhak nallah on the Joshimath-Malari Road in Uttarakhand. The Dhak bridge holds strategic importance, providing connectivity to the international border at Rimkhim Axis, Niti pass, and Sumna-Lapthal-Topidunga Road for strategic movement and logistics of armed forces towards the northern borders (line of actual control or LAC) with China.

This bridge also bears social significance as it is the only road connecting villages from Joshimath to Niti pass, fostering socio-economic development in the region. It is anticipated to attract tourists and generate employment opportunities for the local population.

The defence minister also remotely inaugurated 34 other infrastructure projects, including the Ragini-Ustad-Pharkian Gali Road in Jammu & Kashmir. This 38.25-kilometre IRC Class 9 road provides all-weather connectivity between the Tangdhar and Keren sectors, serving as a lifeline for troops deployed along the line of control (LoC) with Pakistan.

Addressing the gathering, Dhami praised the Border Roads Organization for its accelerated work in the Gharwal and Kumaon regions, emphasizing the positive impact on Uttarakhand's socio-economic conditions and its growing prominence on the global tourism map.

The defence minister commended the BRO for its commitment to establishing connectivity in remote areas, acknowledging the completion of a record 330 infrastructure projects in the last three years. He applauded the organization's efficiency, innovation, and modernization efforts, extending beyond bridge and road construction to include tunnels, airfields, energy-efficient buildings, and ventures like 3D-printed structures.

Looking ahead, Singh highlighted upcoming infrastructure projects, such as the construction of the world’s highest road at 19,400 feet over Mig-la (Mig pass), 10 tunnels, Nyoma airfield in Ladakh at an altitude of 13,700 feet, and the road from Shastri Nagar to Indira Point in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, connecting the southernmost end of the country.

Singh underscored the unique challenges posed by the Himalayas and praised the BRO’s dedication and resilience. He pointed to the completion of a 345-metre-long permanent bridge over the Shyok river at Saser Brangsa in Ladakh within a single working season of six months as a testament to their commitment. This bridge provides all-weather alternate connectivity to the strategically vital Daulat Beg Oldie sector in eastern Ladakh.

Regarding the strategic Se-la tunnel near the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh, Singh said its completion is near.

The defence minister also commended the exponential rise in the BRO’s output and performance, with an expenditure touching a record ₹12,340 crore in the last financial year, poised to reach the ₹15,000 crore-mark for the first time in the current financial year. Singh affirmed that the budgetary allocation reflects the government’s commitment to national security and infrastructure development in border areas.

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