Chinese Ladakh misadventure catalyses plans for strategic roads, tunnels and bridges

The officials informed that there has been a major surge in outcomes in the last few years seeing which government has confirmed all financial support.

Published: 22nd August 2020 07:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd August 2020 08:48 AM   |  A+A-

line of actual control, india-china border, indian army

Indian army personnel carry out drills at Kibithu close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh (File photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI: The strategic infrastructure along the Line of Actual Control is ready for a major push with the government setting ambitious plans for the years 2020 and 2021 in motion.

“We have planned to complete 15 Strategic Roads in FY 2020-21. Also, two Strategic Roads are planned to be fully connected in 2020-21,” a senior officer said.

According to the source, Nimu-Padam-Darcha Road providing connectivity between Manali and Leh through Padam and Niraq is likely to be established by September 2020. In 2019-20 five Strategic Roads have been completed and connectivity on two Strategic Roads has been done and it is fast-moving towards the completion.

Another ambitious strategic infrastructure is the underwater Tunnel across Brahmputra. The tender for DPR preparation for construction of two underwater road tubes and one rail tube across the Brahamaputra River is in advance stages, told the source. The tunnel made at a cost of Rs 6000 crore will connect Gohpur (NH-54) with Numaligarh (NH-37) in Assam.

The Atal Tunnel is likely to be constructed by September this year. The work on Se-La tunnel is moving fast as the aim is to make it ready in two working seasons, the officer added.

The Atal tunnel runs 8.8 km long below the Rohtang Pass which will open an all-weather road for people and will give advantage to the security forces. The tunnel is likely to reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 Km. The Manali-Sarchu-Leh road is shut down for a period of six months (between November and May) every year due to heavy snowfall.

The strategic Sela Tunnel, length of Twin Tunnels - 475 m and 1790 is planned to be completed by March 2022. The tunnel's foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in February 2019.

The tunnel, pegged to coast Rs. 687 crore, will provide all-weather connectivity to Tawang and forward areas reducing the travelling time from Tezpur to Tawang by more than one hour.

The Tawang town inhabited by more than 50,000 people, called as the little Tibet by China, is one of the contentious areas which China claims as its own. Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is entrusted with the responsibility of creating and maintaining the entire military-related strategic infrastructure including the roads and the airstrips.
 
The officials informed that there has been a major surge in outcomes in the last few years seeing which government has confirmed all financial support.

BRO has executed about 30% more works in FY 2019-20 as compared to FY 2018-19. “We have executed 1273 Km Formation Cutting, 2214 Km of Surfacing, Rs 1715 crores of Permanent Works, 2979 Km of Major Bridges, Rs 689 crores of Tunnel Works and 2498 Km of Re-surfacing in FY 2019-20.” added the source. 

The overall expenditure for FY 2019-20 was Rs 7867 crores as compared to Rs 5458 crores in FY 2017-18 and Rs 6859 crores in FY 2018- 19. In the process to provide last-mile connectivity in the hilly areas connecting deep gorges and mountains BRO completed 28 major bridges in 2019-20 with a total span of 3534 m.

A Bailey Bridge of 430 ft span was constructed over the Subansiri River at Daporijo in Arunachal Pradesh not only meet strategic requirements but also to ensure connectivity to 451 villages in upper Subansiri District bordering China. The bridge is a lifeline for this region of the country.

These works are primarily taking place in the mountain regions of the Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh which are along the 3488 km Line of Actual Control with China.



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