- Rajnath Singh inaugurated 44 bridges to ease movement of armed forces
- Mr Singh also symbolically launched Nechiphu tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh
- The construction of the bridges would also benefit civilians, he said
Accusing Pakistan and China of working on a "mission" to create disputes along the border, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today inaugurated 44 bridges to ease the movement of the armed forces in strategically important areas. The bridges are built in the border areas of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab.
Inaugurating the bridges at an online event, the Defence Minister referred to the situation along India's borders with Pakistan and China.
"You are well aware of the situation created along our northern and eastern borders. First Pakistan, and now also by China, as if a border dispute is being created under a mission. We have a border of about 7,000 km with these countries, where the tension remains," he said.
Under the "visionary" leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Singh said, India was not only facing the crises strongly, but was also bringing major and historical changes.
Most of the 44 bridges, including seven in Ladakh, will help the armed forces in ensuring quick movement of troops and weapons, officials said.
The Defence Minister also symbolically launched the Nechiphu tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh.
The opening of the bridges built by the Border Roads Organisation comes at a time when India is locked in a standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.
Mr Singh said the construction of the bridges would also benefit civilians.
"Our armed forces personnel are deployed in large numbers in areas where transport is not available throughout the year," he said, adding, "These roads are not only for strategic needs, but they also reflect equal participation of all stakeholders in the development of the nation."
44 Bridges made by BRO across 7 States/ UTs (J&K-10 Ladakh-8 HP-2 Punjab-4 Uttarakhand-8 Arunachal-8 Sikkim-4) will be dedicated to the Nation by Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh in a short while from now. pic.twitter.com/zZZW3aTIsR— रक्षा मंत्री कार्यालय/ RMO India (@DefenceMinIndia) October 12, 2020
The Defence Minister also gave a shout-out to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for completing the bridges, even working during the coronavirus-triggered lockdown.
Amid the border standoff with China, India has fast-tracked key projects including a strategic road linking Darcha in Himachal Pradesh with Ladakh that will criss-cross a number of high-altitude snow-bound passes.
The nearly 290-km-long road will be crucial for the movement of troops and heavy weaponry into the frontier bases of the Ladakh region and will provide a crucial link to the Kargil region.