Centre to construct 44 ‘strategically important’ roads along India-China border, over 2,100 km of roads in Punjab and Rajasthan

New Delhi: The government will construct 44 strategic roads along the border with China and over 2,100 kilometres of axial and lateral roads in Punjab and Rajasthan, abutting Pakistan, a  Central Public Works Department (CPWD) document shows.

According to an annual report (2018-19) prepared and released earlier this month by the CPWD, the agency has been asked to construct 44 “strategically important” roads along the India-China border to ensure quick mobilisation of troops in case of a conflict.

The nearly 4000-kilometre-long Line of Actual Control (LoC) between India and China touches areas from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.

India-China border

Representational image. Reuters

The report comes at a time China is giving a priority to projects along its India borders. In 2017, Indian and Chinese troops engaged in a face-off at the Doklam tri-junction after the neighbouring country had begun building road in the area.

The standoff ended on 28 August following a mutual agreement under which China stopped the construction of the road and India withdrew its troops.

The report stated that these 44 roads along the India-China border will be constructed at a cost of nearly Rs 21,000 crore.

“The CPWD has been entrusted with the construction of 44 strategically important roads along the Indo-China Border spanning 5 states of Jammu and Kashmir, 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. It said the process of approval of DPRs by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is underway.

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.

The DPRs for this project are under preparation in CPWD, which is a major construction agency of the central government.

“A total of 945 kilometres of lateral roads and 533 kilometres of axial roads lie in Rajasthan (tentative cost Rs 3,700 crores) and 482 kilometres of lateral roads and 219 kilometres 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.

India’s border with Pakistan runs through four states, Jammu and Kashmir (1,225 kilometres, which includes 740 kilometres of Line of Control), Rajasthan (1,037 kilometres), Punjab (553 kilometres) and Gujarat (508 kilometres).

Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.

Updated Date: Jan 13, 2019 15:52 PM

Updated: January 13, 2019 — 12:14 pm