- Continuous border area development is part of our defence strategy to stay prepared with changing times: Shri Rajnath Singh
New Delhi: Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh has called upon Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to further enhance its capability through optimum use to technology and strive to strengthen the infrastructure of the border areas at a faster pace. He was addressing all ranks of the BRO at an event organised in New Delhi on May 07, 2022 to celebrate the 63rd Raising Day of the Organisation. Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar, Director General Border Roads (DGBR) Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry and other senior officials of BRO were present on the occasion. A number of BRO personnel attended the event virtually.
“The Chinese presence has increased in the Northern sector in the recent past. Due to their proficiency in construction in mountainous areas, they manage to reach different places very quickly. The BRO must continue to work in parallel and focus on increasing their capability with full use of technology,” said the Raksha Mantri. He added that the Government, on its part, is making all efforts to provide the required support to the BRO in this direction.
Shri Rajnath Singh mentioned about the recent announcement of increase of capital budget of BRO by 40% to Rs 3,500 crore in Financial Year 2022-23, reiterating the Government’s commitment to the country’s security and development of border areas. He assured the BRO of not just budgetary, but all possible support in this endeavour.
The Raksha Mantri described the development of border areas as a major part of Government’s comprehensive defence strategy, noting that it will bolster the security apparatus of the country and bring a positive change in the lives of people residing in remote areas. He stated that people’s participation is also a key part of the defence strategy. “The more empowered the people of border areas become, the more aware and concerned they will be about the security of those areas. Citizens are the greatest power of a Nation. Therefore, with changing times, we are committed to move forward for the development of our border areas. It is our top priority to provide maximum facilities to those who work round-the-clock for our security,” he said.
Shri Rajnath Singh lauded the Organisation for opening new doors of security and prosperity not just in the areas where it is undertaking a project, but for the entire country. He described BRO as not just a construction organisation, but a shining example of unity, discipline, dedication and devotion to duty.
Underlining the importance of roads, bridges & tunnels in the progress of a nation, the Raksha Mantri said the projects completed by the BRO have enhanced the operational preparedness of the Armed Forces and improved the socio-economic conditions of the people living in far-flung areas. “Infrastructure development in border areas is an indicator of the Government’s unwavering commitment to build a strong, secure and self-reliant ‘New India’ as envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi,” Shri Rajnath Singh said.
Shri Rajnath Singh highlighted that border areas have emerged as new centres of development and the regions like the North-East are not only developing themselves, but have also become a gateway for the all-round progress of the country. He asserted that the development of these areas is important for the Nation’s progress at the international level as well, as the North-east region connects India with South Asia and Southeast Asia.
The Raksha Mantri also commended the BRO for promoting tourism in far-flung areas through its 75 Cafes and Tourism portal (https://marvels.bro.gov.in). These initiatives are symbolic to the ever-increasing growth of the Organisation, he said.
Shri Rajnath Singh remembered former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee who had laid the foundation of the Golden Quadrilateral, which connected Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata and provided a major base for a large number of economic activities all over the country. The Raksha Mantri said, this vision of increasing the connectivity in the country is reflected in the ‘PM Gati Shakti-National Master Plan for Multi-Modal Connectivity’ envisaged by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. He predicted that, in the coming times, it will definitely prove to be a master-stroke plan for the holistic development of the nation.
In his address, DGBR Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry exhorted the BRO personnel to continue on the path of excellence with renewed vigor and dedication. He encouraged them to soon conclude certain critical tunnel and airfield construction projects.
On the occasion, the Raksha Mantri also virtually laid the foundation stone of a married accommodation complex at Todapur for the BRO personnel posted at Delhi during their peace tenure. The complex will house 323 quarters, along with allied infrastructure for the personnel.
Shri Rajnath Singh also launched two softwares – BRO Resource Management System and BRO Budget Management System – developed by Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG-N). The softwares will automate the distribution and utilisation of the resources as well as the budget of the BRO.
In addition, the Raksha Mantri flagged-in ‘BRO@63 Multi-Dimensional Expedition’ organised in the run up to 63rd Raising Day. Sixty-three BRO personnel, including six women, took part in the 12-day expedition which comprised four distinct activities i.e., a mountaineering trek to the 15,000 feet Pangarchula peak covering a distance of approximately 50 kilometres; Rafting in the rapids of River Ganga for 35 kilometres; Cyclothon from Dehradun to Delhi covering a distance of 591 kilometres and a Fit BRO Endurance Run from Roorkee to Delhi covering a distance of 190 kilometres. During the expedition, the teams also conducted various public outreach programmes and interacted with the people, especially with the youth, urging them to contribute to the Nation Building. The expedition was flagged-off by Uttarakhand Governor Lt Gen Gurmit Singh from Dehradun, Uttarakhand on April 26, 2022.
Shri Rajnath Singh also flagged-off ‘BRO@63-All Women Electric Vehicle Rally’. A team of 10 women officers and all ranks of BRO will traverse approximately 750 kilometres on Electric Cars through the National Capital Region, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. This first-of-its-kind Electric Vehicle Rally has been organised to sensitise the people on ‘Environmental Conservation and Climate Change’, in line with Prime Minister’s vision to switch over to 100 per cent Electric Vehicles by 2030. The initiative is also a part of a series of events being organised to commemorate ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.
The Raksha Mantri also felicitated officials of Project Himank in Ladakh and 13 Border Roads task force in Jammu and Kashmir for their commendable work during last year.
It is pertinent to mention that raised with just two projects in 1960 – Project Tusker in the East and Project Beacon in the North – the BRO has today become a vibrant organisation with 18 projects in various states. It has constructed over 60,000 kilometres of roads, over 840 bridges, four tunnels and 19 airfields under adverse climatic and geographical conditions along India’s borders as well as in friendly foreign countries, thus contributing towards our strategic objectives.
In 2021-22, a total of 102 infrastructure projects – 87 bridges and 15 roads – were completed by the BRO – the most in a single year. This included construction of world’s longest highway tunnel, above 10,000 feet Atal Tunnel, Rohtang and world highest motorable road over Umling La in Eastern Ladakh. For the first time in the history of the BRO, women officers were given the command of Units, with three road construction companies (RCCs) being currently commanded by them. It also created the first-ever All Women RCC in Joshimath, Uttarakhand.