Rajnath inaugurates 9 bridges in J&K; two roads, 5 bridges in Ladakh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and MoS in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh among others releasing publication during the virtual inauguration of 27 projects of BRO in New Delhi on Tuesday. (UNI)
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and MoS in PMO Dr Jitendra Singh among others releasing publication during the virtual inauguration of 27 projects of BRO in New Delhi on Tuesday. (UNI)

‘Highest motorable road in Leh will strengthen security, boost tourism’

*Dr Jitendra for naming Udhampur bridge after martyr Capt Tushar

Sanjeev Pargal

JAMMU, Dec 28: In a major bid to boost border and other infrastructure, improve connectivity and promote tourism, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today inaugurated 24 bridges and three roads including nine bridges in Jammu and Kashmir and two roads and five bridges in Ladakh.

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The projects e-inaugurated by Rajnath Singh from New Delhi have been completed on important road axis and laterals along the Northern and Eastern borders of the country and built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in four States and two Union Territories.
Union Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Dr Jitendra Singh, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh RK Mathur, Chief of the Army Staff General M M Naravane, Director General BRO Lieutenant General Rajeev Chaudhry and General-Officer-Commanding of Srinagar-based Chinar Corps Lieutenant General D P Pandey attended the event virtually among others.
Nine bridges inaugurated in Jammu and Kashmir include Birham bridge-I, Birham bridge-II (both in Udhampur district), Gutassa bridge in Doda, Nagrah bridge (Kishtwar), all four in Udhampur-Doda Parliamentary constituency represented by Dr Jitendra Singh; Laspatgarh bridge on Sonamarg Bypass road, Sonamarg-Nallah bridge and Z-Khushi bridge on Bandipora-Gurez road, Asthan bridge on Hazibal-Zaindar Gali and Rajan bridge on Payarpora-Guthampori road, all in the Kashmir valley.
Two roads and five bridges were inaugurated in the Union Territory of Ladakh.
The roads include Chismule-Demchok and Sonam Br-Titar Forward Post. Significantly, Chismule-Demchok road holds Guinness world record for being world’s highest motorable road constructed at the height of 19024 feet from the sea level.
Five bridges include Shayok Gang II, KM 99.3, Brandy, Zangla and Baikundung.
Commenting on the construction of world’s highest motorable road Chismule-Demchok, the Defence Minister said: “This road will not only strengthen security but also boost tourism and socio-economic development of the region”.
In a tweet, Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh RK Mathur expressed gratitude to the Raksha Mantri and the BRO for achieving this admirable feat.
Speaking on the occasion, the Defence Minister said the possibility of any kind of conflict cannot be ruled out in today’s uncertain environment. He listed the development of border infrastructure as part of efforts to boost India’s preparedness to confront any security challenge.
He said India would not have been able to respond strongly to the adversary in the northern sector if there was no infrastructure in the region.
“The situation we faced in the northern sector recently, and the manner in which we were able to respond strongly to the adversary, would not have been possible without appropriate infrastructure development,” Singh said in a reference to the Eastern Ladakh row.
“In today’s uncertain environment, the possibility of any kind of conflict cannot be ruled out. Such situations motivate us even more for the development of these areas. It is a matter of pride that we have the BRO for cooperation in the development of these areas,” Singh added.
The Defence Minister also rued that adequate attention was not given to developing border infrastructure after Independence, but asserted that there was a major change in the approach in the last few years.
“After Independence, our policies were such that the internal areas of the country developed, but the border areas remained relatively deprived of development. This situation continued for a long time,” he said.
In his address, Union Minister of State in the PMO Dr Jitendra Singh demanded that Birham bridge in Udhampur inaugurated today be named after martyr Capt Tushar Mahajan. He also gave a written request in this regard to the Defence Minister.
“The importance of Birham Bridge is that it not only facilitates traffic between Udhampur and Jammu and onwards, but the Northern Command is also located near the bridge site. Therefore, this bridge is a vital link between various Army units and the Command Hospital at Udhampur,” Dr Jitendra Singh said.
He said the salient feature of Gutassa Bridge on Pul-Doda-Bhaderwah road is that besides enhancing connectivity for the general public, it is also an important connectivity route for security forces in the militancy prone areas.
“The Nagrah Bridge on Dul-Galhar road will be the lifeline for the traffic coming from Kishtwar towards Gulabgarh and Paddar. This is the only route available to the holy yatra of Machail Mata,” Dr Jitendra Singh said.