Road projects in Ladakh worth Rs. 20,000 crores are set to be expedited in the wake of the conflict with China at Galwan Valley, India Today has reported. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has given the go-ahead to speed up these projects. Reportedly, it includes the realignment of a track on the strategically important Durbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie Road.
A total of 30 bridges are under construction and road projects worth nearly Rs. 20,000 crores, that includes highways and tunnels, are under various stages of planning and construction. “Road infrastructure is to be enhanced in a short span keeping in mind the current standoff that could stretch for months,” India Today quoted an official as saying.
Meanwhile, three new bridges were made operational by the Border Roads Organisation in Ladakh’s Nimu region on Monday. BRO Executive Engineer B Kishan told the media, “This bridge is at kilometre 397. Earlier, there were three bottlenecks at kilometre 362, 361 and 397. This bridge has been constructed in a record time of three months. On the request of the Army, we made a 50-metre long steel structure bridge which can carry any sort of load.”
“This is an R-70 class bridge and it can take any sort of load to the forward posts,” he added. These bridges would help the Indian Army move heavy artillery and tanks to the Eastern Ladakh Sector along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Rajnath Singh has also given BRO a three-month deadline to complete the DSDBO Road. The construction of this road was a major contributing factor to the current standoff between India and China as the road gives India easy access to the Karakoram Pass that separates Ladakh from China’s Xinjiang.
“On the 255 km Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi road, the ongoing construction is almost done. About 45 km of blacktopping work is pending. BRO head Lt Gen Harpal Singh conveyed that this has to be completed by October 2020,” a senior defence ministry official was quoted by The Week as saying.