Connectivity will help locals, Army: Dr Jitendra
JAMMU, June 17: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said today that 12 roads, built by the Border Roads Organization which were inaugurated today, will play an important role in strengthening national security as well as promoting development and will fulfill needs of the Armed Force in transporting necessities.
He made these remarks while e-inaugurating 12 roads at an event organized in Lakhimpur district of Assam. One road each was inaugurated in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
The road inaugurated in Jammu and Kashmir was Dogra Mandir-Parole-Janiyal-Bamiyal in Kathua district, which has been constructed by the BRO at an estimated cost of Rs 46 crore while the road dedicated to the people in Ladakh, was Koyul-Photile-Chusmle-Zursar.
Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh, who holds Independent Charge of North Eastern States and is Lok Sabha member from Kathua-Udhampur-Doda Parliamentary constituency was also present in the function and inaugurated the roads along with the Defence Minister.
“Roads inaugurated today hold strategic and socio-economic importance as they will play an important role in strengthening national security as well as promoting development. The roads will be helpful in fulfilling needs of our Armed Forces and transporting necessities like medicines and ration to remote areas,” Rajnath said.
Paying tributes to the soldiers who showed exemplary courage during the Galwan Valley incident in Eastern Ladakh last year and made supreme sacrifice in service of the nation, the Defence Minister said: “India is a peace-loving nation but its response to aggression has been resolute”.
Rajnath Singh said that these road projects are part of the ‘Act East Policy’ of the Government wherein special emphasis is being laid on the overall development of the border areas. He reiterated the resolve of the Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for the development of North-East, describing the region as the gateway to not only the overall development of the country, but also to the nation’s relations with East Asian countries.
He also touched upon some of the major reforms undertaken by the Government, including appointment of Chief of Defence Staff, measures to boost self-reliance in defence manufacturing and Corporatization of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). These reforms are proving to be a game changer in the military preparedness in the rapidly changing times, he said.
The Defence Minister underlined the constant efforts of the Government to make India self-reliant in defence manufacturing under the ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ envisioned by the Prime Minister.
“We are actively working towards making India a defence manufacturing hub. Self-reliance in defence production will reduce our dependence on imports, increase exports and strengthen our economy,” Rajnath said.
Union Minister of State in the PMO Dr Jitendra Singh said Dogra-Mandir-Parole-Janiyal-Bamiyal road inaugurated in Kathua district by him and the Defence Minister is important because it connects the UT of Jammu & Kashmir and the State of Punjab. The total length of the road is 16.375 KM and it will also make connectivity to the nearby villages, thus enabling mobility for the local people as well as the Army in the border areas.
Dr Jitendra Singh said he was personally delighted to note that while Kathua was part of his Parliamentary constituency, Arunachal Pradesh was part of his Ministerial constituency and both the regions had received focussed development on priority ever since Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that in his Lok Sabha constituency of Udhampur-Kathua-Doda alone, BRO had constructed over 200 roads and bridges during the last over five years and the notable among them are Atal Setu at Basohli and Devika Bridge at Udhampur. He said Jammu & Kashmir had witnessed unprecedented progress in road and bridge construction in the last 5 to 6 years.
Dr Jitendra Singh also referred to BRO undertaking the historic project for construction of proposed Chattergala tunnel which will connect district Kathua with district Doda in Jammu & Kashmir, enroute the new Highway via Basohli-Bani through Chattergalla to touch Bhaderwah and Doda.
“This is going to be a landmark project providing all-weather alternate road connectivity between the two distant regions and reducing the travel time from Doda to Lakhanpur to just around four hours,” he said.
Dr Jitendra Singh said that the all-weather road connectivity will bring ease of business, shorten the travel time and also provide a unique opportunity for places like Bani and Bhaderwah to emerge as tourist destinations of national repute.
The other ongoing BRO projects in the constituency include construction of road from Bhagwa to Lal-Darman to Masal-Dushnan in district Doda, Chkramore-Maharajpur-Rajbagh-Haria Chak road in district Kathua and upgradation of Phatala to Jakhani road in district Udhampur.
In his address, DG Border Roads Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry gave a brief overview of the achievements of BRO and reiterated the commitment of the organization towards infrastructural development of border areas.