Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday inaugurated 90 infrastructure projects of the Border Roads Organisation, completed at a cost of Rs 2,941 crore, in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir. Singh, accompanied by Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s office Jitendra Singh, was received at the Jammu airport by Lt Governor Manoj Sinha and senior Army and Indian Air Force (IAF) officers.
Singh inaugurated the state-of-the-art 422.9 metre Devak bridge on the Bishnah-Kaulpur-Phulpur Road in Samba district besides 89 other projects virtually.
The Devak bridge is of strategic importance to the defence forces and will facilitate speedy induction of troops, heavy equipment and mechanised vehicles to forward areas and will also boost the socio-economic development of the region, a spokesperson of the BRO said.
The BRO projects include 22 roads, 63 bridges, one tunnel, two airstrips and two helipads across 10 border states and Union Territories of northern and northeastern regions constructed under challenging weather conditions, at most inhospitable terrain locations, he said.
Of the 89 projects inaugurated virtually, 36 are in Arunachal Pradesh, 25 in Ladakh, 11 are in Jammu and Kashmir, five in Mizoram, three in Himachal Pradesh, two each in Sikkim, Uttarakhand and West Bengal and one each in Nagaland, Rajasthan and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the official said.
The BRO completed the critically strategic projects in record time and several of them were constructed in a single working season using state-of-the-art technology, the spokesperson said.
He said the 500-metre Nechiphu Tunnel on Balipara-Charduar-Tawang Road in Arunachal Pradesh, along with the under-construction Sela Tunnel, will provide all-weather connectivity to the strategic Tawang region and will be beneficial to both the armed forces deployed in the region and the tourists visiting pristine Tawang.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu joined the ceremony virtually.
Reconstructed and revamped Bagdogra and Barrackpore Airfields in West Bengal will not only improve the defensive and offensive architecture of the Indian Air Force along the borders but will also facilitate commercial flight operations in the region, the spokesperson said.
The defence minister also laid the e-foundation of Nyoma airfield in eastern Ladakh which will be developed at a cost of Rs 218 crore for wide-ranging strategic air assets, the spokesperson said.
The construction of this airfield will tremendously boost the air infrastructure in Ladakh and augment the IAF capability along the northern borders, he said.
He said the surge in road and bridge construction by the BRO in the last three years has led to the completion of several critical and strategic projects which has bolstered the defence preparedness.
The BRO has also connected the farthest and most remote villages of the country like Huri in Arunachal Pradesh to the mainland. This connectivity has triggered reverse migration along the border villages.
In the last two years, the BRO has dedicated a record 205 infrastructure projects to the nation at a cost of Rs 5,100 crore.
Last year, 103 BRO infrastructure projects were completed at a cost of Rs 2,897 crore while in 2021, 102 BRO infrastructure projects were dedicated to the nation at a cost of Rs 2,229 crore.
The defence minister will also attend the ongoing North Tech Symposium at IIT Jammu’s Jagti campus which was inaugurated by Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen M V Suchindra Kumar on Monday.