Defence Minister Rajnath Singh dedicated the Siyom bridge on Along-Yinkiong Road in Arunachal Pradesh, along with 27 other infrastructure projects completed by the Border Road Organisation (BRO), mainly along the Chinese border, from Ladakh to Arunachal on 3rd January at an event in Arunachal Pradesh. Built at the cost of Rs. 724 crores, these projects will hugely augment India’s border infrastructure.
The projects comprise of 22 bridges, including the Siyom bridge, three roads and three other projects in seven border States/Union Territories of Northern and North-Eastern regions. Eight of these projects are in Ladakh; five in Arunachal Pradesh; four in Jammu and Kashmir; three in Sikkim, Punjab, and Uttarakhand and two in Rajasthan. In addition, three telemedicine nodes – two in Ladakh and one in Mizoram – were inaugurated.
The event at Along-Yinkiong Road witnessed the physical inauguration of the strategically important Siyom Bridge, while the other projects were dedicated to the nation virtually. The Siyom Bridge – a 100-meter long, ‘Class 70’ steel arch superstructure- will facilitate faster induction of troops and equipment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
The Defence Minister, in his address, described the projects as a testament to the concerted efforts of the government and the BRO towards the development of borders to enhance the operational preparedness of the Armed Forces and ensure the socio-economic development of the far-flung regions. He asserted that it is the government’s top priority, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to connect the border areas and ensure the development of its residents.
India does not believe in war, but if forced, we’re ready to fight: Singh.
Rajnath Singh emphasised that the aim is to build a strong and self-reliant ‘New India’ to effectively deal with future challenges which may arise due to the constantly evolving global scenario.
“The world is witnessing a number of conflicts today. India has always been against war. It is our policy. Recently, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi drew the world’s attention to that resolve when he said, ‘this is not the era of war’. We do not believe in war, but we will fight if it is forced upon us. We are ensuring that the Nation is protected from all threats. Our Armed Forces are ready, and it is heartening to see that the BRO is walking shoulder-to-shoulder with them,” he said.
The Minister further highlighted the crucial role played by the BRO in bolstering the country’s security through infrastructure development in border areas. “Recently, our forces effectively countered the adversary in the Northern sector and dealt with the situation with bravery & promptness. This was made possible due to adequate infrastructural development in the region. This motivates us even more for the progress of far-flung areas,” he said.
Infrastructure development as a game changer
Terming infrastructure development as a game changer for the people residing in border areas, Rajnath Singh lauded the BRO for ensuring socio-economic development in far-flung regions. He stressed that the government is paying special attention to the development of the North-Eastern region, which has strengthened the country’s security system. For the Organisation’s relentless efforts to support the Armed Forces and the local people, Rajnath Singh coined a new phrase “BRO is the nation’s bro (brother)”. Quoting a famous phrase, ‘It’s not the destination, it’s the journey’, he said the construction of road infrastructure in border areas is a journey for BRO. A strong and prosperous India should be its destination.
With the inauguration of these 28 projects, which were completed in 2022, a total of 103 infrastructure projects of BRO have been dedicated to the nation in the year at a total cost of Rs 2,897 crore. In October last year, 75 projects worth Rs 2,173 crore were inaugurated by the Defence Minister from Shyok village in Ladakh. In 2021, 102 such projects of the BRO had been dedicated to the nation at the cost of Rs 2,229 crore.