Rs 218.32 crore for roads on China border

Gearing up to the challenge posed by the communist neighbour, India is stepping up its infrastructure along the border with China with the latest Union Budget allocating Rs 218.32 crore for constructing around 200 km road network on the Himalayan terrain.

Officials said roads measuring 197.40 km will be built in two phases with the first phase covering 97.40 km and it would enhance the operational capability of the border guarding force, here the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), in reaching out to areas fast and take on transgressing Chinese troops.

The emphasis on infrastructure building on the Sino-India border comes as Beijing has stepped up its infrastructure activities on its side of border and after a stand-off in Doklam Plateau in western Bhutan.

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In October last year, a conference of the military commanders in New Delhi has decided that the roads linking the four mountain passes – Niti, Lipulekh, Thang La 1 and Tsang Chok La – along the Line of Actual Control would be built on priority by 2020.

On the Indo-Pakistan border, Rs 119.22 crore has been allocated for fencing of 24 km while another Rs 75 crore has been allocated for constructing 659 km of roads. Floodlighting of 224 km would get Rs 25 crore, according to the Output-Outcome Framework for Schemes 2018-19.

For the Indo-Bangladesh border, Rd 269.23 crore has been allocated for 53.65 km long fencing, Rs 33.65 crore for 57.08 km long road, and Rs 67.31 crore for floodlighting of 87.71 km.

***************************************************************************

India-China: Road projects — 197.40 km — Rs 218.32 crore

Indo-Bangladesh border

Road projects — 57.08 km — Rs 33.65 crore

Barbed wire fencing — 53.65 km — Rs269.23 crore

Floodlighting — 87.71 km — Rs 67.31 crore

India-Pak border

Road projects — 659 km — Rs 75 crore

Fencing — 24 km — Rs 119.22 crore

Floodlighting — 224 km — Rs 25 crore

High tech surveillance equipment — Rs 50 crore

Border Out Posts on Indo-Pak, Indo-Bangladesh borders — 26 — Rs 235.58 crore

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The border infrastructure development on India’s other borders are also getting enough attention. Road projects measuring 378.11 km along India-Nepal border has been allotted Rs 100 crore while another Rs 67 lakh has been earmarked for such projects on Indo-Bhutan border.

Two pilot projects of a high-tech surveillance unit would be deployed in Gujarat and Punjab at a cost of Rs 25 crore each. Officials said this could be spread to other areas depending on its success.

Twenty-six Border Out Posts will also come up on Indo-Pak and Indo-Bangladesh borders at a cost of Rs 235.58 crore.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Feb 4, 2018)

Pix courtesy: India Today (representational pix)

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