Itanagar: In a massive infra push amid simmering border tension between India and China over the recent clash in Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday inaugurated strategically-important Siyom Bridge and 27 other infrastructure projects.
The ‘Class-70’ steel arch bridge on the Along-Yingkiong Road in the northeastern state was constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) under the project Brahmank. The 100-metre bridge is constructed near Boleng in Siang district which is close to Line of Actual Control (LAC).
After inaugurating the projects virtually, Singh said, “In this era of changing priorities and interests of the nations, it is necessary for any nation to keep itself empowered. India has always been against war. Our Armed forces are always ready to face any kind of situation and BRO is walking along with them.”
Notably, the BRO has constructed a total of 3,097 km of roads in Arunachal Pradesh in the last five years, the Central government informed the Parliament during the recently-held winter session.
This is Defence Minister’s first visit to Arunachal Pradesh after the recent clash in the Tawang sector between the Indian and Chinese troops.
A violent face-off broke out between Indian and Chinese troops in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh on December 9, which led to injuries to a few personnel on both sides.
Days after the clash, Rajnath Singh said in Parliament that the Chinese side tried to "unilaterally" change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control in the Yangtse area of Tawang but the Indian Army compelled them to retreat in a firm and resolute manner.
Details of the projects inaugurated by Rajnath Singh
The Defence Minister inaugurated 22 bridges, three roads and three other miscellaneous projects. Speaking on the occasion, Singh praised BRO’s commitment towards establishing connectivity in far-flung areas by ensuring timely completion of these roads and bridges.
Out of these projects, eight have been constructed in Ladakh, four in Jammu and Kashmir, five in Arunachal Pradesh, three each in Sikkim, Punjab and Uttarakhand and two in Rajasthan.
The highlight of the event was inauguration of state of the art “100 meter long, Class 70 steel arch superstructure Siyom Bridge on Along-Yinkiong Road over Siyom River in Arunachal Pradesh”.
This signature bridge is of strategic importance to Indian defence forces and will facilitate speedy induction of troops, heavy equipment and mechanised vehicles to forward areas of Upper Siang district, Tuting and Yinkiong region and will also boost socio-economic development of the region, the government said in a release.
Some of the other projects include Basti Bridge on Bani-Basohli-Bhadarwah road in Jammu and Kashmir. It is a 55-metre-long bridge constructed over Haloon Nallah to establish connectivity between Doda and Kathua district.
The Bhaironghati-Nelong road, a 24-kilometre-long road close to the Indo-Tibet border in Uttarakhand was constructed by the BRO and will "serve as a lifeline for troops" deployed in the region.
Thangu Bridge, an 80-foot-long permanent bridge was constructed on the strategic Kalep-Gaigong Road in north Sikkim to assure all-weather connectivity to commuters. It will also help the armed forces deploy troops and equipment in forward areas.
Singh also inaugurated three telemedicine nodes - one at Mizoram and two in Ladakh.
The three telemedicine nodes will provide prompt medical intervention for medical and surgical emergencies through telemedicine consultation with specialists at service hospitals using SATCOM VSAT communication. This is one of the unique achievements for BRO in providing medical services to its personals in remote border locations through use of space technology, the release read.
The Defence Minister also released a Compendium on New Technologies. “The New Technology Compendium” incorporates the latest technologies being adopted by BRO in construction of roads, bridges, airfields and tunnel infrastructure to negate the effects of remote and hostile terrain with adverse weather condition.
Defence Minister lauded BRO’s commitment towards establishing connectivity
Speaking on the occasion, Singh lauded BRO’s commitment towards establishing connectivity in far-flung areas by ensuring the timely completion of these roads & bridges. He mentioned that in 2021, BRO completed 102 infrastructure projects and in 2022 along with these 28 infra projects BRO has dedicated a record 103 infrastructure projects to the Nation. He appreciated the feat of construction of these 28 infrastructure projects at such an expeditious pace during this year. He mentioned that such performance by the BRO is unprecedented and is a reflection of the grit and determination of the entire Border Roads Organisation under the stellar leadership of Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry, VSM, DG Border Roads.
He also lauded BRO’s effort of always being at the forefront in introducing the latest technologies which are not only environment friendly but also cost-effective. He mentioned that as BRO works in harsh and extreme conditions of temperature and terrain, these innovations have contributed towards the resolution of many construction problems that have been affecting the roads being constructed on our borders.
He expressed his admiration for the organisation’s history of achieving excellence and reaffirmed the Government’s resolve to ensure better infrastructure development in border areas keeping in view the Nation’s security needs. He expressed his confidence in BRO’s contribution to Nation building by promoting enhanced defence preparedness & ushering economic development in Border States through improved connectivity despite tremendous challenges of terrain & weather condition.
BRO’s surge in road and bridge construction in the last two years has led to the completion of many critical and strategic projects which has bolstered our defence preparedness vis a vis that of our adversaries. The BRO has also connected the farthest and most remote villages of the country like Huri Village in Arunachal Pradesh to the mainland. This connectivity has triggered reverse migration in these areas. Population increase is being witnessed in these areas with the commencement of basic amenities like schooling facilities & Primary Health Care Centres, electric supply and employment opportunities.
Singh also virtually inaugurated 27 other projects of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) along with the release of the BRO Vision and New Tech Handbook.
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