Worried over the frenzied road construction activity being undertaken by China in its border adjoining India, the union government is stepping up efforts to upgrade road infrastructure in border states.
The road transport and highways ministry has finalised plans to construct t upgrade an additional 3723-km stretch roads in the North-East, as part of the Phase B of the Special Accelerated Road Development Programme for North-East (SARDP-NE).
Of this, 931 km stretch of strategic road will come up in Arunachal Pradesh, the strategically-placed state on India’s eastern front, which shares a long disputed border with China. “The proposal is likely to come up before the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure shortly,” said an official.
Earlier, the ministry had approved upgradation of 4099 km of roads under the Phase A of SARDP-NE at an estimated cost of R21000 crore. Of this, 2355 km roads have already been either sanctioned or awarded.
But progress on Phase A of SARDP-NE has been dismal. Till October 2011, work on just 752 km stretch was completed. The entire Phase A is scheduled to be completed by March 2015, but sources said the way the project is progressing, it may not meet the deadline.
Once complete, these roads will not only improve internal connectivity within many of the land-locked north-eastern states, but also help the defence forces combat threats in border areas.
“It will improve connectivity to neighbouring countries,” said an official.