India today inaugurated 44 bridges to facilitate the movement of the armed forces in strategically important areas. Built by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) the bridges are built across seven States and Union Territories. The bridges are built in the border areas of Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Punjab. India also laid the foundation stone for Nechiphu Tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh.
Lauding the BRO for its role in improving the border infrastructure, the Indian Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh said that these bridges improved connectivity in the far-flung areas of Western, Northern and North East sectors.
The Defence Minister said that the annual budget of BRO that varied from Rs 3,300 Crores to Rs 4,600 Crores in years 2008-2016, saw a substantial rise and is pegged at over Rs 11,000 Crores in 2020-21. There was no reduction of this budget despite COVID-19.
He also said that the BRO personnel have been alloted high altitude clothing.
The Nechiphu Tunnel on the road to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh is designed to be 450 meters long. The bi-lane tunnel is designed to ensure all-weather connectivity across Nechiphu Pass.
Lt Gen Harpal Singh, Director General BRO, said the 44 bridges have various spans ranging from 30 meters to 484 meters. He said that in addition to expediting road construction, the BRO has laid special emphasis on the construction of bridges by completing 28 major bridges last year while 102 major bridges are being completed this year. 54 of these bridges have already been completed. Over 60 Bailey Bridges have also been constructed by BRO to meet immediate requirements of armed forces and people living in remote areas.
The BRO has also cleared all strategic passes & roads covered with snow for traffic about one month before their average yearly opening dates.