Rajnath Singh Inaugurates 75 Strategic Infrastructure Projects | Latest News India

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Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday inaugurated a 120-meter bridge over the Shyok River to give armed forces 24-hour access to Ladakh’s Daulat Beg Oldi sector along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and 74 other strategic infrastructures to enable projects. The other projects in six states and two union territories include two helipads and a carbon neutral habitat.

Twenty of these Border Roads Organization (BRO) projects are located in Jammu & Kashmir, 18 each in Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, five in Uttarakhand, 14 in Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. They were built at a cost of 2,180 crores.

Singh appreciated BRO’s determination to pull off the feat despite the difficult weather. He said the projects would strengthen the country’s defense preparedness and ensure economic development in the border areas. Singh led the inauguration of the Shyok Bridge on site at an altitude of 14,000 feet.

Chinese troops pitched tents and took up positions 19 km into Indian territory in the Daulat Beg Oldie sector in 2013 before withdrawing from the area. The Chinese military said in July 2014 such incidents were due to differing perceptions by the LAC.

India and China have been on a border pause in the Ladakh sector for 29 months. Talks so far have resulted in a disengagement at four points of friction along the LAC in east Ladakh. Solving open problems in two areas of friction remains elusive. Despite the retreat, both armies remain heavily based in the Ladakh theater of war.

Singh inaugurated heliports at Hanle and Thakung in eastern Ladakh, in practical terms to enhance the Indian Air Force’s operational capabilities. The 19,000ft carbon neutral habitat for BRO staff was dedicated in Hanle.

The habitat is part of BRO’s efforts to contribute to Ladakh’s goal of becoming the country’s first carbon-neutral union territory. It includes accommodation for 57 employees and thermal comfort in extreme weather to enable BRO to operate efficiently during the winter.

Singh said the government is keen to ensure the progress of far-flung areas to meet the country’s security needs. He stressed that the development of infrastructure and the courage of the armed forces are the main reason that has helped India deal effectively with the “recent situation in the northern sector”.

Singh said the 75 projects are a testament to their determination. He added that these bridges, roads and helipads would facilitate military and civilian transportation in distant areas and form part of the development chain. Singh described connectivity with border areas as one of the government’s priority areas.

Singh said the lack of infrastructure development in Jammu and Kashmir for decades after independence was one of the reasons for the rise of terrorism. “These internal unrest resulted in a significant drop in tourist footfall that impacted both Ladakh and the nation as a whole.”

Singh commended the government’s efforts for peace and progress in the region. “Our goal is to continue the development of all states and union territories. Soon all remote areas will be connected to the rest of the country and together we will lead the nation to new heights of progress.”

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