New Delhi: The government is focusing on enhancing the road infrastructure along the India-China border for which it has identified 73 critical roads of 4,203 km that are being accorded highest priority with dedicated funding.
In a written reply to Naresh Bansal in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, Minister of State for Defence, Ajay Bhatt, said that the government is fully seized of the security needs of the country and reviews the same from time to time.
The required measures, including development of infrastructure like construction of roads, tunnels and strategic railway lines, are taken to safeguard the sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of India, the minister said.
As per the operational requirements of the armed forces and the need for development in the border areas, road construction is taken up by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).
“Among these, 73 critical roads have been designated as India-China border roads with 4,203 km length and are being accorded highest priority with dedicated funding,” the minister said.
Further, to ensure all-weather connectivity to the far-flung areas, construction of tunnels has also been undertaken across passes. Currently, construction of four tunnels is underway.
Infrastructure development in Uttarakhand is being holistically executed with budgetary support from the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Home Affairs, state public works department and Central projects like Bharatmala and Chardham, the MoS said.
As on date, 21 roads with a length of approximately 800 km are being constructed and upgraded by the BRO over and above certain roads being constructed by the state PWD, Bhatt said.
China has been enhancing road and military infrastructure rapidly for the last several years along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
In January this year, acknowledging the reports of construction by China in the Arunachal Pradesh region, the Ministry of External Affairs had said, “We have seen recent reports on China undertaking construction work along the border areas with India.”
The Indian government had then categorically pointed out that it is keeping a constant watch on all the developments having a bearing on India’s security.