The Border Roads Organisation has spent more than Rs 1,900 crore on construction and improvement of infrastructure on the north-western and north-eastern borders of India, the government said today. In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Subhash Bhamre, minister of state for defence, said that in 2015-16, the BRO spent Rs 379.72 crore, followed by Rs 812.11 crore and Rs 744.74 crore in 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively. This comes to around Rs 1,936 crore.
Bhamre said the government has identified 73 strategic roads. Of these, 61 roads are entrusted to the BRO. In response to another question, the minister said that after the opening up of the defence industry sector in May 2001 for manufacturing by Indian private sector companies subject to licensing, 379 licences have been issued to 230 Indian companies for manufacturing of various defence items of which some have also been signed. Till 2014, 42 licensed companies reported commencement of production to this ministry. Since then, 28 companies have reported commencement of production, Bhamre said.
Replying to another question, he said girl students have been admitted in Sainik School, Chhingchhip, Mizoram from the academic session 2018-19 on a pilot project basis. Bhamre said the admission of girl students in Sainik Schools across the country will be decided after reviewing the outcome of the pilot project.