Jammu redeeming discrimination of past: Dr Jitendra
JAMMU, July 9: Steering J&K towards a new revolution in the connectivity of roads and bridges in sensitive areas close to the International Border (IB) and Line of Control (LoC), Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh dedicated six major bridges of strategic importance to the nation through video conferencing from New Delhi today.
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Union Minster of State in PMO with independent charge of North Eastern States and MP from Udhampur -Kathua-Doda Lok Sabha constituency, Dr Jitendra Singh, Chief of Army Staff, Gen M M Naravane, Defence Secretary, Dr Ajay Kumar, D G BRO, Lt Gen. Harpal Singh were present at e-inaugural function at Delhi.
Maintaining that roads and bridges are the lifeline of any nation and play a vital role in the socio economic development of far flung areas, the Defence Minister, congratulated all ranks of BRO for construction of six bridges two in Kathua district and four in Akhnoor tehsil of Jammu district in record time and complimented them for contributing in nation building by working in the most difficult terrain and hostile weather conditions.
Reiterating the Government’s commitment to prioritise development activities in J&K Rajnath Singh said that “Prime Minister is regularly monitoring the progress of these projects and adequate funds are being provided for their timely execution”.
All the six bridges which the Defence Minister dedicated to the nation are of strategic importance and were completed by the BRO in a record time.
“It is a pleasant experience to inaugurate these bridges that connect the people at a time when the world is insisting on keeping distance , being isolated from each other due to COVID-19, I would like to congratulate the BRO on completing this important task with great skill”, the Defence Minister said.
Complementing BRO the Minister said, “Continued construction of roads and bridges in the border areas of the country with commitment would help in realisation of the efforts of the Government to reach to the remotest areas”.
“Roads are the lifeline of any nation. Roads in the border areas are not only strategic strengths, but also act to connect remote areas with the mainstream”, he added.
In this way, be it a strategic necessity of the Armed Forces or other development works related to health, education, trade, all these are possible only with connectivity, he added.
Complimenting the people of Jammu and Kashmir for their cooperation, he said, “I am sure that the construction of modern roads and bridges will bring prosperity to the region. Our Government is committed to promoting infrastructure on our borders and necessary resources will be provided for this.”
“Our Government has a keen interest in the development of Jammu and Kashmir. Keeping in mind the need of the people in this border belt and Armed Forces, many other development works are also in the pipeline, which will be announced in due course of time. About 1,000 kilometre long roads are currently under construction in Jammu region,” he added.
The Minister acknowledged that over the last two years, with the use of latest technologies and state-of-the-art equipment the BRO has done cutting of over 2,200 kilometres about 4,200 kilometres of roads surfacing and about 5,800 metres of permanent bridges have been constructed.
He assured that the Government has ensured that sufficient resources are provided to the BRO for the construction of strategic roads. Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, the Government will not let the resources of BRO fall short. Also, the Ministry will take care of the facilities of BRO’s engineers and personnel, he added.
Particularly referring to the Tarnah bridge in Hiranagar sector Rajnath Singh said, he had been told that the people of this area had to face tremendous hardship mostly during the Monsoon and rainy season, and therefore he was glad that bridges are being dedicated to the public well in time to provide people the required facility. He also appreciated Dr Jitendra Singh for regularly following up the BRO projects in the region.
The two bridges on the Tarnah Nallah in Kathua District and four bridges located on Akhnoor-Pallanwala road in Akhnoor/Jammu district have spans ranging from 30 to 300 metres and were constructed at a total cost of Rs 43 crore.
These bridges constructed by Project Sampark of the BRO will facilitate movement of Armed Forces in this strategically important sector and will also contribute towards the overall economic growth of remote border areas.
Dr Jitendra Singh, while speaking to media after the inauguration, said that Jammu region is redeeming the regional discrimination of the past under the successive governments. He said, this is for the first time that long-standing needs of road connectivity are being addressed on fast track, without any regional discrimination.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, there is huge enthusiasm among the people because the bridges inaugurated today mark the beginning of a new socio-economic journey for the border areas. He said nearly 50 new bridges have been constructed in the region in the last over five years, which is a record in itself and was beyond anybody’s imagination.
Complementing BRO and its Director General Lt General Harpal Singh, Dr Jitendra Singh noted that BRO has constructed a number of landmark projects in last four years, including first of its kind Atal Setu bridge in Basohli, Devika Bridge in Udhampur, Puneja bridge in Bhaderwah while its agency BEACONS has completed the DPR of the landmark Chhatergala tunnel. Very soon, the first ever Seed-Processing Plant and first ever Bio-industrial Park will become functional in Kathua district while the work has started on the Katra-Delhi Express road corridor region which will pass through this region.
Speaking on the occasion, Lt Gen Harpal Singh, DG Border Roads, underlined the contribution of BRO to nation building and complimented the Minister for his continuous guidance and support while expressing confidence that the BRO will continue to strive towards meeting laid down targets in line with our overall national strategic objectives set forth by the Government.
It is apparent that there has been a major surge in outcomes delivered by the BRO in the last few years. This is evident from the fact that BRO has executed about 30 per cent more works in the financial year (FY) 2019-20 as compared to FY 2018-19. This has happened because of adequate budgetary support from the Government and due to the effect of structural reforms and focused and dedicated efforts by the BRO, a Defence Ministry handout said.
The annual budget of the BRO that varied from Rs 3,300 crore to Rs 4,600 crore in the FY 2008-2016, saw a substantial rise to Rs 8,050 crore in FY 2019-2020. With focus of the Government in improving infrastructure in border areas, the budget for FY 2020-2021 is likely to be Rs 11,800 crore. This will give a major boost to ongoing projects and will expedite the construction of strategic roads, bridges and tunnels along our northern borders.
MP Jammu-Poonch Parlaimentary Constituency, Jugal Kishore Sharma, Brig. Y K Ahuja, Chief Engineer , Project Sampark, Sanjeev Verma, Divisional Commissioner Jammu and senior Army and civil officials were present on the site of inauguration at Jammu.
MP Jugal Sharma while talking to reporters at inauguration site complimented BRO and people of J&K on dedication of six bridges to nation by the Defence Minister. He said this shows that Modi Government is committed to its slogan `Sabka Saath’, `Sabka Vikas’ and `Sabka Vishwas’.