The Central government will construct 44 strategic roads along the border with China to ensure quick mobilisation of troops in case of a conflict, according to an annual report (2018-19) prepared, and released earlier this month by the Central Public Works Department (CPWD). The nearly 4,000-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China touches areas from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh. The report comes at a time China is giving a priority to projects along its India borders.
According to the CPWD report, these 44 strategically roads along the India-China border will be constructed at a cost of nearly Rs 21,000 crore.
"The CPWD has been entrusted with construction of 44 strategically important roads along the Indo-China Border spanning 5 states of J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh," the report stated.
"The total Cost of work as per DPRs (Detailed Project Reports) is Rs 21,040 crores (approx.)," the report stated
In 2017, Indian and Chinese troops engaged in a 73-day long face-off at the Doklam tri-junction after the neighbouring country had begun building road in the area. The face-off began on June 16, 2017, when a large construction party of the Chinese Army entered the area with road construction equipment and tried to build a road in Southern Doklam region to Jampheri ridge. Initially, the Bhutanese patrol initially confronted them but they turned the patrol away. Indian soldiers from Doka La, an Army post overlooking the area, sought to dissuade the Chinese personnel from their attempt to alter the status quo. The Chinese did not agree, leading to a face-off between soldiers of the two sides.
Besides, the strategic roads, the CPWD report also stated that lateral and axial roads measuring over 2,100 kilometers will be built with a cost of around Rs 5,400 crore in Rajasthan and Punjab along the Indo-Pakistan border.
"A total of 945 km of lateral roads and 533 km of axial roads lie in Rajasthan (tentative cost Rs 3,700 crores) and 482 km of lateral roads and 219 km of axial roads in Punjab (tentative cost Rs 1,750 crores)," it stated.
The road projects will secure the vast and remote border areas of Rajasthan and Punjab, it stated.
(With PTI inputs)