Defence Minister Rajnath Singh unveiled 35 infrastructure projects worth Rs 670 crore, constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), during an event held at Joshimath-Malari Road in Uttarakhand on Friday. In his address, the Defence Minister underscored the crucial importance of linking remote areas with the rest of the nation.
Among the inaugurated projects, 29 are bridges, and six are roads. These developments are distributed across various regions, with 11 projects in Jammu and Kashmir, 9 in Ladakh, 8 in Arunachal Pradesh, 3 in Uttarakhand, 2 in Sikkim, 1 each in Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh. The Dhak Bridge, a key project, holds strategic significance, enhancing connectivity to the borders and facilitating socio-economic development in the region. The inauguration ceremony took place at the Dhak Bridge, a 93-meter-long Class 70R bridge over Dhak Nalla, while the remaining 34 projects were inaugurated virtually.
Discussing the central government’s initiatives for border region development, Singh emphasised that these areas are integral parts of the nation, not mere buffer zones between countries. He stressed the necessity of constructing roads, bridges, and tunnels to improve connectivity and foster unity among citizens. Singh stated, “Under the leadership of PM Modi, our government is committed to the development of border areas, keeping in view the Nation’s security needs. We do not consider these areas as buffer zones. They are a part of our mainstream.”
Singh highlighted the proactive stance of ‘New India’ under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, emphasising infrastructure development in mountainous regions and strategic troop deployment to ensure safety and effective response to adversaries. Commending the BRO’s Silkyra Tunnel operation in Uttarakhand, Singh acknowledged the coordinated efforts of various agencies and praised the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) team for their exemplary teamwork during the crisis.
Beyond its strategic importance, the Dhak Bridge will significantly improve connectivity to the borders and enhance the operational readiness of the Armed Forces. Additionally, it is the sole road connecting villages from Joshimath to Nitipass, promising to boost tourism and create more employment opportunities.
The remaining 34 projects, e-inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, include the Ragini-Ustad-Pharkian Gali Road in J&K—a 38.25-km long CL-9 road providing all-weather connectivity between Tangdhar and Keren sector, further fortifying the military’s operational readiness.