NEW DELHI: Defence Minister Rajanth Singh on Monday said that China and Pakistan are creating border disputes with India 'under a mission' while virtually inaugurating 44 bridges and a tunnel of strategic importance.
Singh said, “First Pakistan and now China is creating dispute on the border under a mission. We have a border of about 7,000 km with these countries, where tension remains."
The event marked a unique milestone as the bridges and Nechiphu Tunnel in the hilly state are not just strategically important but also provide to remote areas.
Nechiphu Tunnel lies on the way to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. This 450 meter-long, bi-lane tunnel would ensure all weather connectivity across Nechiphu Pass besides providing safe and secure passage through accident-prone areas.
Meanwhile, the 44 bridges are located in Jammu and Kashmir (10), Ladakh (8), Himachal Pradesh (2), Punjab (4), Uttarakhand (8), Arunachal Pradesh (8) and Sikkim (4) and are expected to improve connectivity in the far-flung areas of Western, Northern and North East sectors and would also meet the transport and logistics requirements of the armed forces throughout the year, Singh added.
Further, these bridges will also contribute towards the overall economic growth of remote border areas and will also assist in speedy deployment of Armed Forces in strategically important sectors.
The Defence Minister also informed that the annual budget of BRO (that varied from Rs 3,300 crore to Rs 4,600 crore between 2008-2016) saw a substantial rise and is pegged at over Rs 11,000 crores in 2020-21.
He also announced that there was no budget reduction or alteration made despite the pandemic and added that high-altitude clothing will be sanctioned to BRO engineers and workers.
BRO has laid special emphasis on construction of bridges by completing 28 major ones in 2019 and 102 were completed this year.
PM Modi also inaugurated 'Atal Tunnel', which is the world's longest highway tunnel at 3,000-meter altitude in Himachal Pradesh.