New Delhi, June 28: To ensure unhindered movement of heavy weapon systems, including guns, tanks and other specialised equipment, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed 63 critical bridges in the bordering areas extending to six states and two Union Territories.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday reaffirmed the government’s resolve to bolster border infrastructure for the security and development of the nation.
Singh, who is on a visit to Leh for three days, virtually inaugurated the 63 bridges at an event held at Kyungam, 88 km from Leh.
From Kyungam, Singh inaugurated a 50-metre long bridge constructed on the Leh-Loma Road in Ladakh.
“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.
The Leh-Loma Road, which connects Leh with places such as Chumathang, Hanley and Tso Morori Lake, is vital for access to the forward areas in Eastern Ladakh.
In addition, Rajnath Singh virtually inaugurated 62 more bridges — 11 in Ladakh, four in Jammu and 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 crore. The bridges will provide tremendous boost to connectivity in the border areas, the Defence Ministry said.
At the event, Singh lauded BRO’s commitment towards establishing connectivity to the far-flung areas, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, saying that some of these bridges will become a lifeline for many villages located in the remote, inaccessible areas.
Underlining the importance of connectivity, especially in the border areas, for the development of a nation, he reaffirmed the government’s resolve to ensure infrastructure development in the far-flung border areas, adding that the inauguration of 63 bridges is an important step in that direction.
He expressed confidence that the bridges will play a crucial role in strengthening the security as well as promoting the economic development of the respective states through improved connectivity.
On the government’s decision to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as two separate Union Territories, Singh said the strong and visionary step has bolstered national unity, led to major reduction in terrorist activities sponsored from outside and opened new avenues for the socio-economic development of the people.
On the development of Ladakh, the minister said a number of welfare schemes are being implemented which shows the government’s resolve towards the welfare of the region.
He also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to start the democratic process in the region.
Lauding the Indian Army for displaying exemplary courage during the Galwan Valley incident in 2020, Singh paid tributes to the bravehearts who laid down their lives in the line of duty.
He also 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”.
He assured the nation that the armed forces are fully prepared to deal with any situation.
Singh also highlighted the reforms being 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.