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Border roads with China ‘worse’

CAG’s report on Doklam area at Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction is very disappointing as it casts aspersions on the Border Road Organization’s ability to construct standard road in that hilly area. The report says that there was no shortage of funds that would be the pretext for the BRO to explain its dismal performance. An amount of rupees 4536 crore has been expended and yet the road is not fit for vehicular movement of the type desired.
We fail to understand whether the seniors at the Border Road Organization are not aware of the strategic importance of these roads as these run close to the border with China. The opposition is gearing up to pillory the Coalition Government led by Narendra Modi for its failure to build viable and serviceable roads in the strategic area. These roads are meant to be able to allow heavy military transport to pass. BRO authorities are aware what type of roads China has built on the other side and whether the roads that have been built on our side are any match to them. Even six roads which had been completed at a cost of Rs. 164 crore were not fit for running of specialised vehicles/equipments due to limitations in execution of works. The Ministry of Road Transport and the Defence Ministry should initiate a probe into the entire matter of construction of roads which have involved a hefty expenditure of over five thousand crore rupees.
We are of the view that an expert committee comprising Home, Defence, Road Transport Ministries should be constituted to examine what are the loopholes and how these have not been removed. There is every possibility of corrupt elements working incognito but sabotaging the construction of good and usable roads in the region.

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