Close on the heels of the recent clash between Indian and Chinese PLA troops in Tawang sector, and in an effort to enhance the operational preparedness of the Armed Forces, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today (Jan 3, 2023) dedicated 28 infrastructure projects of Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to the nation. These projects on completion will also ensure socio-economic development of the far-flung regions – seven border States/Union Territories of Northern/North-Eastern Region.
At an event organised at Siyom Bridge on Along-Yingkiong Road in Arunachal Pradesh, the projects worth Rs 724 crore include 22 bridges, and this includes the Siyom bridge; three other projects as well as three roads are for seven border States/Union Territories of Northern/North-Eastern Region. It has been reported earlier that out of these 28 projects eight are in Ladakh, four in Jammu & Kashmir; three each in Sikkim, Punjab and Uttrakhand; two in Rajasthan and five in Arunachal Pradesh.
In his address, the defence minister described the projects as a testament to the efforts of the government and BRO towards the development and connectivity of border areas and also to ensure the development of its residents.
Aim of the expansion of Infrastructure: New India
To deal with the emerging threats which are expected to arise due to the evolving global scenario, Singh while dedicating these projects stated in his address that the aim is to build a strong and self-reliant `New India’.
This is not an era of war
Prime Minister Narendra Modi drew the world’s attention when he said ‘this is not the era of war’. The minister said that India does not believe in war, but will fight if forced on us. The country is protected from all threats and the armed forces are ready and BRO is handing over completed projects ahead of time.
Role of BRO – Game Changer
Singh highlighted the critical role played by BRO in bolstering the security of the country through development of infrastructure in border areas. He also mentioned about the effective manner in which the armed forces countered the adversary in the Northern sector and how they dealt with it bravely. According to the minister this was possible due to the infrastructural development in the region and how BRO has played an important role in extending their support to the armed forces and the local people. He also coined a new phrase “BRO is the nation’s bro (brother)”.
The strategically-important Siyom Bridge at Along-Yingkiong Road was inaugurated physically and the rest of the projects were done virtually.
The state of art Class 70 Steel Arch Superstructure Siyom Bridge will be over Siyom River in Arunachal Pradesh and it is 100-meter long.
Also the minister virtually inaugurated telemedicine nodes which are going to be connected with Service hospitals through VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellite communications system. And through Telemedicine consultation with specialists at Service hospitals using SATCOM VSAT communication, it will help in providing faster medical intervention for medical & surgical emergencies. This is one of the unique achievements of BRO – using Space Technology to provide medical services in remote areas.
So far a total of 103 infrastructure projects of BRO at the cost of Rs 2,897 crore has been dedicated to the nation in 2022. According to an official statement issued by the Ministry of Defence (Jan 3, 2023) last October 75 projects at approximately Rs 2,173 crore, were inaugurated by the minister from Shyok village in Ladakh and in 2021 when the country was in a state of global lockdown, 102 BRO projects at a cost of Rs 2,229 crore were dedicated.
To negate the effects of remote and hostile terrain with adverse weather conditions BRO has been using the latest technologies in their projects. A Compendium on New Technologies incorporating the latest technologies being adopted by the BRO in construction of roads, bridges, airfields and tunnel infrastructure was also released.
Who was present at the event?
GOC-in-C Eastern Command Lieutenant General RP Kalita and GOC Spear Corps Lieutenant General RC Tiwari, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, MP Arunachal East Tapir Gao, were among those who attended the event.