In 2022, New Delhi inaugurated 103 projects worth Rs 2,900 crore; In 2021, 102 projects were dedicated at a cost of over Rs 2,200 crore
By Vikas Gupta
Defence News of India, 13th Sept 23
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, at an event in Jammu on Tuesday, inaugurated 90 infrastructure projects of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), built at a cost of over Rs 2,900 crore ($350 million).
These projects are spread across 11 states and Union Territories.
The projects include 22 roads, 63 bridges, one tunnel, two airstrips and two helipads. They include the strategic Nechiphu Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh; and two airfields in West Bengal.
“With today’s inauguration of 90 projects worth Rs 2,900 crore, a record 295 infrastructure projects of the BRO, at an overall cost of approximately Rs 8,000 crore, have been dedicated to the nation since 2021,” stated a press release from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Tuesday.
In 2022, 103 projects worth approximately Rs 2,900 crore were inaugurated; while in 2021, 102 projects at a cost of over Rs 2,200 crore were dedicated to the nation.
The MoD has commended the BRO for completing the construction of these strategically-important projects in record time. Most of these projects were completed in a single working season, using state-of-the-art technology.
In his address, the Raksha Mantri described the BRO as ‘bro (brother)’ of the Armed Forces, asserting that, through its infrastructure projects, BRO is not only securing India’s borders, but also playing a key role in the socio-economic development of the far-flung areas.
“Together with BRO, we are ensuring that the nation is secure and border areas are developed. Timely completion of infrastructure projects in far-flung areas has now become the new normal of New India,” said Rajnath Singh.
Amongst the crucial projects completed was the Devak Bridge on the Bishnah-Kaulpur-Phulpur Road. This state-of-the-art, 422.9-meter-long, Class 70, reinforced cement concrete bridge is of strategic importance.
Another crucial infrastructure project the Defence Minister inaugurated was the 500-metre long Nechiphu Tunnel on the road from Tezpur to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. This tunnel, along with the Sela Tunnel under construction, will provide all-weather connectivity to the strategic Tawang Region. Rajnath Singh had laid the foundation stone of the tunnel in October 2020.
Bagdogra and Barrackpore Airfields
The defence minister also dedicated the Bagdogra and Barrackpore airfields in West Bengal to the nation. These airfields, reconstructed at a cost of over Rs 500 crore, will bolster the operations of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and facilitate commercial flight operations in the region.
Rajnath Singh also laid the foundation stone of Nyoma Airfield in Eastern Ladakh virtually. This airfield, being developed at a cost of approximately Rs 200 crore, will boost the air infrastructure in Ladakh and augment the IAF’s capability along the Northern border.
The defence minister exuded confidence that this airfield, which will be one of the world’s highest, would prove to be a game-changer for the military.
Rajnath expressed hope that the BRO would soon set another record with the construction of Shimku La Tunnel – the world’s highest tunnel – at an altitude of 15,855 feet. This tunnel will connect Lahaul-Spiti in Himachal to the Zanskar Valley in Ladakh.
He emphasised that the development of border infrastructure not only promotes national security, but also connectivity with friendly neighbouring countries. In this context, he mentioned Myanmar and Bhutan.