National

‘Top priority’ to complete strategic roads

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. File

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Defence Minister Rajanth Singh on Tuesday directed the Border Roads Organsiation (BRO) that work on the strategic Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) road be completed by October, a defence source said. This was conveyed at a meeting to review the progress of the construction activities in border areas with BRO Director General Lt. Gen. Harpal Singh.

“On the 255-km Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) road, the ongoing construction is almost done. About 45 km of black topping work is pending. Mr. Singh conveyed that this has to be completed by October,” the source said.

Stating that an alternate route is also being made here, the source said there is full focus on connectivity terming it a top priority. China has been objecting to Indian road and infrastructure development at several points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). A road branching from the DSDBO road towards the Galwan Nalah is believed to be one of the reasons for their objections here.

In May as the standoff was under way, the BRO began efforts to fully resume construction work on all roads delayed due to the pandemic. It is also building the 61 strategic Indo-China Border Roads (ICBRs) measuring 3323.57 km in length under the direction of the China Study Group (CSG). With COVID-19 restrictions easing and also obtaining special permission, construction labour were moved in large numbers to forward locations by special trains.

In March, the Parliamentary standing committee on defence was informed that the BRO has completed 75% of the construction work on the 61 Indo-China Border Roads (ICBRs) of 3323.57 km length. Of these, 12 roads measuring about 1,064 km are in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh while three roads measuring about 62 km are in Sikkim.

Expeditious clearance of passes and roads

The BRO has executed 30% more works in the Financial Year (FY) 2019-20 as compared to FY 2018-19, the Defence Ministry said in a statement. “Despite the unprecedented snowfall, breaking a 60-year- old record, all strategic passes and roads were cleared this year for traffic about one month before their average yearly opening dates.” The BRO executed snow clearance works on 149 roads (3,965 km) in all border States which ensured rapid and early movement of troops and logistics to forward areas, it said.

The Ministry said the BRO has also inducted the latest equipment and machines to expedite works on surfacing with cementations base, use of plastics, geotextiles and various techniques for slope stabilisation. Trials have also been carried out successfully for indigenously produced modular bridges in collaboration with the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), the statement said.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 1:55:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/border-roads-organsiation-directs-work-on-strategic-dsdbo-road-be-finished-by-october/article32013803.ece

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