NATIONAL

‘Clearance for defence projects to be eased’

Union Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre at the annual ‘Chief Engineers Conference, 2017’ of the Border Roads Organisation in Pune on Tuesday.

Union Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre at the annual ‘Chief Engineers Conference, 2017’ of the Border Roads Organisation in Pune on Tuesday.  

Union Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre on Tuesday lauded the Border Roads Organisation personnel for achieving their targets in construction of strategic roads in border areas, especially the completion of the Rohtang tunnel in Himachal Pradesh.

Mr. Bhamre was addressing the annual ‘Chief Engineers Conference, 2017’ of the BRO held here.

The Minister spoke about the Centre’s policy decisions to ease procedures for clearance to defence projects, which is often a major hurdle faced by the BRO in the construction of border roads.

Policy relaxations

“We expect that these policy relaxations will bring greater responsibility upon the BRO to be more concerned about the preservation of ecology and environment. At the same time, the organisation faces challenges in the form of rugged terrains and inhospitable climates as well as paucity of funds. However, I am confident that the BRO will overcome these hurdles to enhance the pace of construction and adopt newer technologies and procedures,” said the Union Minister.

The three-day conference, which will conclude on Wednesday, witnessed brainstorming on critical issues facing India’s primary infrastructure construction agency.

Topics particularly related to the construction of India-China border roads in the backdrop of the recent Doklam stand-off with China were discussed.

Tunnel projects

Among the BRO’s achievements this year were the completion of the 8.8-km-long, all-weather Rohtang tunnel (expected to be opened by 2019); the 578-m-long Theng tunnel in Sikkim and the construction of the world’s highest motorable road over Umling La (in Ladakh) at a height of over 19,300 ft.

The Rohtang and the Theng tunnels are a part of the BRO’s project to construct 17 highway tunnels totalling 100 km in length along the Line of Actual Control.

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