“India will beat China in next 2-3 years along LAC in infrastructure”: BRO chief Lt Gen Chaudhry
India will beat China in the next two to three years as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government is proactively working towards developing infrastructure along the 3,488 Km stretch of the Line of Actual Control as 295 projects have been completed worth Rs 11,000 crore, Border Roads Organisation (BRO) chief Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry said on Thursday.
While comparing the ruling dispensation with the previous governments with regard to the infrastructure development along the border, In an exclusive interview with ANI, the Director General of Border Roads Organisation (BRO), Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry said that China started their push for infra development all along LAC much before India and a decade ago our thinking about infrastructure development along the 3,488 Km stretch was a little bit defensive.
“But now the present government has changed this thinking and policy and supporting us with a budget along with all other vehicles and machines to accelerate our work all along the LAC,” he said.
Taking note of the budget earmarked for the development of infrastructure along the LAC by the Central government in recent years, Chaudhry said, “In 2008, our budget used to be approximately Rs 3,000 crore. In 2017 it increased to Rs 5,000-6,000 crore. In 2019, it went up to Rs 8,000 crore and increased thereafter. And in the last year around Rs 12,340 crore were spent.”
“The government is thinking proactively to develop infrastructure all along the border which has really made our situation stronger and maybe in two-three years or four years, India will be much ahead of China all along the borders in the infrastructure of roads, bridges, tunnels and airfields,” Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry said.
He said that this year by September itself, a total of 90 projects, worth approximately Rs 2,940 crores, will be dedicated to the nation. “On September 12, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will visit Jammu region and will inaugurate and dedicate 90 projects which constitute 22 roads, 63 bridges, one tunnel that is in Arunachal and two strategic airfields–Bagdogra and Barrackpore– and two Helipads, one in Rajasthan and one in Ladakh between Sasoma-Sasser La,” he said. The top BRO official said that the government’s focus is concentrated on the border areas of Ladakh and Arunachal.
“Out of that (the 90 projects), 26 are in Ladakh and 36 are in Arunachal…So our focus is totally on these two states and we are going much ahead and much faster in these two states to in fact beat China, if I may say so, in another two to three years,” Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry said.
He said that by December another 60 projects will be completed, taking the number of projects to 150-160.
“So the total cost of these projects will be approximately Rs 6,000 Cr in total and numbers will be 150 to 160. So it’s a great moment for the nation that so many projects are being made on the border areas and it is strengthening the security metrics of our army so they can get deployed as far forward as possible and take care of any critical situations if they arise…” he added.
Elaborating on the developmental works completed along the Indo-China border, Chaudhry said, “We are not so close to the LAC, but in the last three years we have been accelerating our pace of work and we have completed 295 projects till now costing Rs 11,000 crore.”
“This will give us last-mile connectivity to most forward posts. As well as ITBP post and will also assist the socio-economic development of our distant villages which have not been connected till now,” he added.