Context: At an unscheduled briefing during the Parliament session, External Affairs Minister released the details of the government’s projects on border infrastructure and connectivity.
A brief overview of government’s projects on border infrastructure and connectivity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC):
Important Road Projects along the LAC
- About 6,806 km of roads were constructed in the China border areas in the period from 2014 to 2022.
- Some of the key road projects along the LAC include:
- Expansion of the Manali-Leh road in Himachal Pradesh: It is a strategic road that connects the border regions along the LAC in Himachal Pradesh.
- Upgrading of the Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) road in Ladakh.
- Construction of the Atal Rohtang Tunnel in Himachal Pradesh.
- Upgrading of the Tawang-Bomdila road in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Construction of the Darcha-Padum road in Himachal Pradesh.
- Expansion of the Gangtok-Nathu La road in Sikkim.
- Upgrading of the Jorhat-Sivasagar-Namsai road in Assam.
Important Bridge Constructions along the LAC
- Construction of the Bogibeel Bridge over the Brahmaputra River in Assam
- Construction of the Dhola-Sadiya Bridge over the Brahmaputra River in Assam
- Construction of the Bailey Bridge over the Siang River in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Construction of the Serati Bridge over the Lohit River in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Construction of the Mago-Thingbu Bridge over the Kameng River in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Construction of the Gelling Bridge over the Siang River in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Construction of the Bumla Pass Bridge over the Namka Chu River in Arunachal Pradesh.
Important Rail Projects along the LAC
- Construction of the Missamari-Tenga-Tawang railway line in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Construction of the Pasighat-Tezu-Rupai railway line in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Construction of the Murkongselek-Pasighat-Bame-Silapathar railway line in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
- The report lists dozens of projects in the neighborhood that have been planned, financed or constructed. These include:
- Railway links to Nepal and Bangladesh,
- The Mahakali motorable bridge and the Maitri Setu between Tripura and Bangladesh.
- The Kaladan Multi-Modal Transit Transport Project (KMTTP) which includes a 158 km waterway, the Sittwe port project and road to Mizoram.
- It also speaks of:
- South Asia’s first cross-border petroleum products pipeline – between Motihari in India and Amlekhgunj in Nepal;
- Another High-Speed Diesel pipeline with Bangladesh that will reduce petrol prices and road congestion; and
- A Bhutanese dry port in Pasakha bordering West Bengal being developed under an Indian government grant.
Initiatives to Secure Borders
- Vibrant Villages Programme: Border villages with sparse population, limited connectivity and infrastructure often get left out from the development gains. Such villages on the northern border will be covered under the new Vibrant Villages Programme, announced in the Budget 2022-23.
- The Border Area Development Programme: BADP was initiated in the border areas of the western region during the Seventh Five Year Plan (1985-90), for ensuring balanced development of border areas through development of infrastructure and promotion of a sense of security among the border population.
- Smart Fencing in India (CIBMS): It involves deployment of a range of state-of-the-art surveillance technologies to secure borders.