China and Pakistan have been creating border disputes under a mission, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday.
Inaugurating 43 bridges built by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in seven border states and union territories apart from flagging off work on a tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh, Singh said, “You are also aware of the situation at our eastern and northern borders. It appears as if border disputes are being created under a mission, first by Pakistan and now even China. The two countries share 7,000 km of borders with us and often in some or the other sector there is tension. Despite such problems the nation is not just dealing with these challenges with great determination but also brining about crucial changes in all sectors.”
The bridges, built in Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, were dedicated to the nation by Singh in a virtual conference. Sources said seven of the 44 bridges are in Ladakh where the Indian Army is locked in a standoff with the Chinese PLA since May.
Singh said these bridges will help movement of ration and military equipment to sustain security forces posted in remote border areas even during the winter when heavy snowfall often cuts off supply lines. He said the bridges will also ease the life of civilians living in remote border areas.
“These roads are not only for strategic needs, but they also reflect equal participation of all stakeholders in the development of the nation,” Singh said.
He also complimented the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for working tirelessly even during the pandemic.
“Every sector of the country from agriculture and industry to our security system have been impacted by Covid 19 …The BRO has continued operations in the North Eastern States, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. BRO continued its work while ensuring that snow clearance is not delayed at remote locations,” he said.
“I am happy to know that over 2,200 kilometers of roads have been cut by the BRO during the last two years, using the latest technologies, and state-of-the-art equipment. Also, surfacing was carried out on about 4200 km of roads,” he added.
Amid the border standoff with China, India is expediting work on several key projects including on a strategic road linking Darcha in Himachal Pradesh with Ladakh that will criss-cross a number of high-altitude snow-bound passes.
The nearly 290-km-long road will be crucial for the movement of troops and heavy weaponry into the frontier bases of the Ladakh region and will provide a crucial link to the Kargil region.