India keeps focus on building border infrastructure, Rajnath Singh chairs crucial meet to review projects
India’s push to improve the infrastructure in the border areas was the primary reason for clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on June 15. Beijing was opposed to a bridge in Ladakh that would consolidate India’s hold of the sensitive sector. The bridge was completed last month.Updated: Jul 07, 2020 12:47 IST
Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday held a meeting with Border Roads Organisation (BRO) chief Lt Gen Harpal Singh and other officials about the progress in ongoing infrastructure projects on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan.
The meeting went for about an hour where the BRO chief gave presentation to Singh about the work being done to boost infrastructure in India’s border areas, news agency ANI reported.
India’s push to improve the infrastructure in the border areas was the primary reason for clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley on June 15. Beijing was opposed to a 60-metre bridge over Galwan river in eastern Ladakh that would consolidate India’s hold of the sensitive sector by allowing Indian infantry to move across the cold mountain river and also protect the 255 km strategic road from Darbuk to Daulat Beg Oldie, the last military post just south of the Karakoram Pass.
That bridge was completed last month, days after a face-off between Indian and Chinese soldiers led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number of Chinese soldiers.
In the last few years, there have been frequent face-offs in certain sensitive areas in Eastern Ladakh. It has been a direct outcome of India’s ability of increased patrolling in the area due to vastly improved infrastructure readiness.
The genesis of the building up of faster strategic infrastructure can be traced back to 2014, when the Modi government gave it a big push. One of the first decision of the government was to issue a general approval in July 2014 for the creation of road network by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) within 100 km of aerial distance from LAC. This general approval ensured that requirement of prior central government and other bureaucratic process were done away with.
In May, the BRO completed a key road in Uttarakhand which will cut travel time drastically. The road was inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh through video conferencing. He also flagged off a caravan of nine vehicles from Pithoragarh to Gunji to indicate that both passengers and load can be sent by the new road stretch through mountainous terrain.
The road has been built from Ghatibagar in Dharchula to Lipulekh near the border with China. It is also known as Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra Route. The road is 75 kilometre long.
The road ends at the 17,000 feet high Lipulekh pass. From there, Mount Kailash is located around 97 km north of the pass in Tibet. The Lipulekh pass, close to the tri-junction of India-China-Nepal, is the lowest point in this section of the high Himalayas.