In a tremendous boost to connectivity in the border areas, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday inaugurated 63 bridges in six states and two Union Territories.
Among the 63 bridges, 11 are in Ladakh, four in Jammu & Kashmir, three in Himachal Pradesh, six in Uttarakhand, eight in Sikkim, one each in Nagaland and Manipur, and 29 in Arunachal Pradesh.
The combined cost of the projects is Rs 240 crores.
The defence ministry expressed confidence that the bridges will play a crucial role in strengthening security as well as promoting the economic development of the respective states through improved connectivity.
BRIDGE ON LEH-LOMA ROAD TO ENSURE UNHINDERED MOVEMENT
The 11 bridges in Ladakh include one on the Leh-Loma route will ensure smooth movement of tanks and heavy weapon systems in the forward areas of Eastern Ladakh.
The Leh-Loma Road connects Leh with places such as Chumathang, Hanley and Tso Morori Lake, and is vital for access to forward areas in Eastern Ladakh
The defence minister inaugurated a 50-metre-long bridge from Kyungam constructed on the Leh-Loma Road in Ladakh.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates a 50-metre-long bridge constructed by BRO on the Leh-Loma Road. (Photo: PTI)
“This single span steel super structure bridge, which replaces an existing bailey bridge, will ensure unhindered movement of heavy weapon systems, including guns, tanks and other specialised equipment,” the defence ministry said.
BRO’S INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
With the inauguration of 63 bridges in one go, the Border Road Organisation (BRO) has surpassed its own record of 44 bridges launched in 2020, the defence ministry said.
These 63 bridges, combined with 12 roads dedicated to the nation by Rajnath Singh on June 17, 2021, form a bouquet of 75 infrastructure projects completed by the BRO.
ON JAMMU & KASHMIR AND LADAKH AS SEPARATE UTs
On the Central government’s decision to bifurcate Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh as two separate UTs, the defence minister said that the “strong and visionary steps” have bolstered national unity, led to major reduction in terrorist activities sponsored from outside, and has opened new avenues for the socio-economic development of the people.
On the development of Ladakh, Rajnath Singh said a number of welfare schemes are being implemented, including Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, National Rural Livelihood Mission, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi.
The defence minister stated that implementation of these schemes shows the Centre’s resolve towards the welfare of the region.
He also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to start the democratic process in the region.
RAJNATH SINGH LAUDS INDIAN ARMY
Lauding the Indian Army for displaying exemplary courage during the Galwan Valley incident in 2020, Rajnath Singh paid tributes to the bravehearts who laid down their lives in the line of duty.
Rajnath Singh with troops of Indian Army’s 14 Corps in Ladakh. (Photo: PTI)
He called for dialogue with the neighbouring countries to resolve disputes, maintaining that “India is a peace-loving nation which does not believe in aggression, however, if provoked, we will give a befitting reply”.
The defence minister assured the nation that the Armed Forces are fully prepared to deal with any situation.
Rajnath Singh also highlighted the reforms undertaken by the government to strengthen the security at the borders, increase jointness among the Armed Forces and make them self-reliant.
“We are moving fast towards building a safe, strong and prosperous nation in every way,” he said.
DGBR REITERATES BRO’S COMMITMENT
In his address, DG Border Roads stated that the infrastructure projects were completed despite the limited working window and Covid-19 pandemic.
He said that these bridges will assist in speedy mobilisation of the Armed Forces in strategically important sectors, further bolstering the security environment, as well as contributing significantly towards the overall economic growth of remote border areas.
DGBR further reiterated BRO’s resolve in continuing to serve the nation despite challenges.