New Delhi: Six major bridges in Jammu and Kashmir constructed by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) at a cost of Rs 43 crore were thrown open for the people on Thursday. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated these bridges and said that these bridges would facilitate movement of the Armed Forces in strategically important sectors and also contribute towards the overall economic growth of remote border areas.
He inaugurated the six bridges constructed by the BRO through video conferencing on Thursday from Delhi.
Singh said, “I congratulate all ranks of BRO for completing these bridges in the record time. These projects are the lifelines in far-flung areas close to the border.”
The minister also said that the government is regularly monitoring the progress of all BRO projects and adequate funds are being given for their timely execution.
Singh said that these bridges would ‘connect people’, at a time when the world is insisting on keeping distance, being isolated from each other. “I would like to congratulate the Border Roads Organization on completing this important task with great skill,” said Singh adding that BRO has been at the forefront of building infrastructure in far-flung areas.
They were constructed through segmental technique of construction and it would be an alternate route to NH 44 from Pathankot to Jammu benefiting four lakh people in 217 villages.
Complementing BRO, Singh said, “Continued construction of roads and bridges in the border areas of the country with total commitment by BRO would help in realisation of the efforts of the Government to reach to the remotest areas. Roads are the lifeline of any nation.”
Roads in the border areas are not only strategic strengths, but also act to connect remote areas with the mainstream. In this way, be it a strategic necessity of the Armed Forces or other development work related to health, education, trade, all these are possible only with connectivity, he added.
Thanking the people of Jammu and Kashmir for their cooperation, Singh said, “I am sure that the construction of modern roads and bridges will bring prosperity to the region. Our government is committed to promoting infrastructure on our borders and necessary resources will be provided for this. Our government has keen interest in the development of Jammu and Kashmir.”
The Defence Minister acknowledged that over the last two years, with the use of latest technologies and state-of-the-art equipment, the BRO has done cutting of over 2,200 kilometres about 4,200 kilometres of roads surfacing and about 5,800 metres of permanent bridges have been constructed.
He assured sufficient resources to the BRO for the construction of strategic roads.
Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, the government will not let the resources of BRO fall short. Also, the ministry will take care of the facilities of BRO’s engineers and personnel, he added.
The two bridges on the Tarnah Nallah in Kathua District and four bridges located on Akhnoor-Pallanwala road in Akhnoor/Jammu district have spans ranging from 30 to 300 metres and were constructed at a total cost of Rs 43 crore.
It is apparent that there has been a major surge in outcomes delivered by the BRO in the last few years.
This is evident from the fact that BRO has executed about 30 per cent more work in 2019-20 as compared to 2018-19. This has happened due to adequate budgetary support from the government and the effect of structural reforms and focussed and dedicated efforts by the BRO.
The annual budget of the BRO that varied from Rs 3,300 crore to Rs 4,600 crore in the 2008-2016, saw a substantial rise to Rs 8,050 crore in 2019-2020.
With focus of the Government in improving infrastructure in border areas, the budget for 2020-2021 is likely to be Rs 11,800 crore. This will give a major boost to ongoing projects and will expedite the construction of strategic roads, bridges and tunnels along our northern borders.