India carrying out lot of construction activities at China border: BRO DG
Chandigarh, Sep 24 (PTI) India has been carrying out a lot of construction activities at the China border in the last three years, BRO Director General Lt General Rajeev Chaudhry said on Sunday.
The DG was here to inspect the ongoing construction work of an air dispatch unit of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), touted to be the world’s largest 3D concrete printed campus.
Chaudhry said the government of India is fully supporting the BRO for carrying out infrastructure development projects by way of increasing the budget and new technology.
The government of India has “increased our budget by 100 per cent in the last two years”, he added.
When asked if China is carrying out big infrastructure development near the border areas of India, the DG said that a lot of construction activities have been being carried out by the BRO and other agencies at the China border in the last three years.
The DG said that around 300 BRO projects worth Rs 8,000 crore were completed during the last few years.
“In the last three years, we set up 295 road projects, bridges, tunnels and airfields which were dedicated to the nation,” Chaudhry said.
“In four months, our 60 more projects will be ready and the pace of our work has increased,” he added.
The DG said that the BRO was using steel slag — a by-product of steel — and plastic in the construction of roads.
“Today, the BRO’s pace of work is quite fast and the government has complete support in it, be it the budget, machines, new technology and simplification of procedures. You can be rest assured that we will leave China behind in the next four to five years,” he added.
The DG said that the previous government was wary of constructing roads near the Line of Actual Control.
The then Defence Minister A K Antony had in 2008 made a statement in Parliament that China could use the same roads against India, said Chaudhry.
“But today, the government is thinking in a different way. Our projects are being promoted,” he added.
Chaudhry said that only two tunnels were constructed in 60 years but in the last three years, four tunnels have been built.
“We are presently working on 10 tunnels, which will be ready by next year and eight more tunnels are planned,” he added underlining that tunnels are the most important component of providing fastest and all-weather connectivity.
He said that the BRO was using new techniques and machines for snow clearance in order to reduce the closure time of roads located at high altitude areas in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Tawang and other areas.
Citing an example of Zoji La pass, Chaudhry said that it used to remain shut for six months starting from October because of snow.
The closure time has been shrunk in the past three years, he added.
The DG said that road infrastructure development was not only for the security forces.
This also immensely helps for socio-economic upgradation of people who live in remote villages and distant areas and difficult terrains, he said, adding that a road is the backbone of development.
On the BRO’s projects, the DG said that it constructed the world’s highest motorable road at 19,000 feet at Demchok.
Nearly 40 days ago, we started a tunnel at Hanle at 15,000 feet, Chaudhry said.
All roads are higher in height than the base camps of the Mount Everest, he added.