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India Increases Border Infrastructure to Reduce Gap with China | India News


NEW DELHI: From building roads, tunnels and bridges to early opening of mountain passes despite formidable terrain and weather challenges, India has worked on the warpath for the past year to ensure faster mobility of its troops and weapons systems in advanced areas amid continued military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh.
India is still well behind China in terms of border infrastructure, but “every effort is being made to bridge the gap,” even as 50,000 to 60,000 troops continue to be deployed along the border, officials say.
With a view to improving border connectivity, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday inaugurated 12 roads built by the Border Roads Organization (BRO), including a 20 km Kimin-Potin double lane, one and nine others in Arunachal Pradesh, as well as one in Ladakh. and J&K. “India seeks peace, but knows how to respond appropriately if someone shows us an aggressive attitude,” he said at the event in Assam’s Lakhimpur district.
The two-day army commanders conference, chaired by General MM Naravane, also began in Delhi on Thursday to discuss the operational situation along the borders with China and Pakistan.
So far, China has refused to complete the stalled disengagement process at Hot Springs, Gogra and Demchok in eastern Ladakh, let alone stop blocking Indian patrols on the strategically located Depsang Plains. It has also improved the infrastructure along the Royal Line of Control in terms of roads, troop accommodation, heliports and surface-to-air missile positions, as previously reported by TOI.
India has also stepped up its efforts. In total, BRO has completed 1,200 km of “road formation works” and 2,850 km of “paving works” in the last year. “Of the 1,200 km figure, only 162 km are in Rajasthan. The rest is distributed along the northern border from J&K to Arunachal, ”an official told TOI.
There is also much-needed progress in the slow construction of the 73 “strategically important highways”, totaling 4,643 km along the China front, which were first approved in 1999.
Of the 61 roads (totaling 3323 km) with BRO roads, about 45 have been fully completed, while ‘connectivity’ has been achieved in 59. ‘Seven of the last nine roads remaining this year will be completed for March 2022 and the other two for March 2023, ”said another official.
Similarly, BRO has “completed” 74 permanent bridges and 33 bailey bridges in the last year. “Some advanced locations, such as Yangtse in Arunachal, have also been connected,” he added.
As for the mountain passes in the highest reaches of the Himalayas, several of them, from Zoji La, Lachung La and Shinkun La to Baralacha La and Nakee La, have been opened well in advance this year. “The early opening of these passes has saved millions of rupees in air maintenance efforts,” the official said.

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