Army is ready for any eventuality at Doklam, says defence minister Bhamre in Pune

Bhamre was addressing the Annual Chief Engineers Conference 2017 of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) at GREF Centre in Pune.

pune Updated: Dec 20, 2017 23:01 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre (right) during Border Roads Organisation’s annual chief engineers conference 2017 at GREF centre, Dighi, on Tuesday.(HT PHOTO)

Minister of state for defence Subhash Bhamre, on Tuesday, said that the government’s stand on Doklam was very firm and that the army was ready for any eventuality. Bhamre was addressing the Annual Chief Engineers Conference 2017 of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) at GREF Centre in Pune.

“Our stand about Doklam is firm. We also want to maintain friendly relations with China and want to build on it. But I also want to state that our Army is ready for any eventuality,” he said.

The minister said that the North-eastern states have not received the attention of the government in the past.

After Modi government came into power, highest priority has been given to the region. The region has been given a package of ₹90,000 crore, which included the allocation for BRO and national highways. A trans-Arunachal Pradesh highway is also being built, he added.

He said that the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) was playing a critical role in the strategic infrastructure development needs of the country. Bhamre further pointed that development of road infrastructure was of vital importance in the overall development of the country which entails creation of jobs, attracting investment and ensuring integration of remote parts and hinterlands of the country with the mainland of the nation.

Bhamre added that the BRO has been delivering in some of the most difficult terrains, from deserts of Rajasthan to rivers and mountains of Jammu and Kashmir and extremely difficult terrains of North East. When asked about the casualties, he said, “All possible precautions are always taken. We cannot alter the terrain and climate.”

Bhamre also added, “The kind of infrastructure, roads and other aspects like we have here, are not present in the North-eastern states. Some of the areas have to depend on the BRO for infrastructure.” Explaining the importance of infrastructure development and its significance, Bhamre said that road infrastructure development was the only means of communication for movement of inhabitants, their logistic support and for their overall development where BRO as organisation had the necessary capability and wherewithal to deliver the good with professional excellence.

BRO is India’s most reputed, multifaceted, transnational modern construction organisation committed to meeting the strategic needs of the Armed Forces. The organisation consists of 760 units with the strength of 40,000 GREF personnel.

Bhamre conveyed his wishes to the director general of border roads (DGBR) and all officers and personnel including casual paid labourers of BRO for achieving targets set forth for construction of strategic roads in border areas.

The minister also mentioned about some challenges being faced by BRO due to terrain and climate as well as paucity of funds.

Awards were presented for the best and runner-up task force and best road for both eastern and western sectors. In addition, two mobile applications called ‘GREF Abhilekh’ and ‘Standard Schedule of Rates (SSR): BRO’ were launched on the occasion along with release of the Annual Technical Magazine ‘Oonchi Sadaken’.

Achievements of BRO

BRO has constructed approximately 52000 Km of roads, 598 major permanent bridges of 49200 m length and 19 Airfields in difficult and remote areas of the country.

At present BRO is working on 852 roads. This includes 530 roads (22803 Km) under construction. Also 322 roads (7315 Km) are held for maintenance only.

BRO is also maintaining five air fields and also carries out snow clearance on 138 roads (4325 Km).

Breakthrough was achieved for the 8.8 km long Rohtang Tunnel in October 2017 and for the 578 m Theng Tunnel in Feb 2017.

Connecting the highest Pass in the world ie: Mana Pass (18399 Feet above MSL) to the hinterland as well as constructing the world’s highest motorable road over Umlingla Top at a height of over 19,300 feet.

First Published: Dec 20, 2017 15:48 IST