The possibility of any kind of conflict cannot be ruled out: Rajnath Singh

Photo Credit: Hindustan Times

With the rising uncertain events happening in border areas such as Ladakh, where India is locked in a dragging military standoff with China, the possibility of “any kind of conflict” cannot be ruled out, said the Defence Minister of India, Rajnath Singh on Tuesday as he opened roads and bridges in border areas.

India has put forward their best efforts to create vital infrastructure such as roads and bridges all along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in recent years to match the dual-use infrastructure built by China on its side. Since the face-off with Chinese troops began in May last year, the Indian side’s efforts have gained urgency to maintain harmony and peace in the country. 

24 bridges and three roads built by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in four states and two Union territories at a virtual event held in New Delhi have been opened by the Defence Minister of India. Among the 24 bridges, nine are in Jammu and Kashmir, five in Himachal Pradesh, three in Uttarakhand, five in Ladakh, and one each in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Further one road is in West Bengal and the other two in Ladakh. 

“In today’s uncertain environment, the possibility of any kind of conflict cannot be ruled out. Such situations motivate us even more to develop these areas,” Singh said, speaking in Hindi.

“The situation we faced recently in the northern sector, and how we were able to respond strongly to the adversary, would not have been possible without the development of appropriate infrastructure,” he said, referring to the standoff in the Ladakh sector of the LAC.

“As we move forward in the direction of strengthening our border infrastructure, we have to bolster our surveillance systems as well. The problems of infiltration, skirmishes, illegal trade, and smuggling often persist in border areas. Because of this, the government started the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System sometime back,” he added.

“After independence, our policies were such that internal areas of the country developed but the border regions remained relatively deprived of development. This situation continued for a long time,” he said.

“The further we moved away from Delhi, the graph of development kept falling in the same proportion. Earlier it was said that people in the border areas may be far from Delhi, but they are not far from our hearts. But as the transport sector witnessed major expansion, it became an old saying,” he added.

Rajnath Singh lauded BRO’s initiatives for the welfare of its personnel. BRO has introduced a special drive to give quality housing, provide rations in high-altitude areas, jackets, and an increase in the wages of construction workers. Also, more focus has also been given to improved health care facilities, and Covid-19 vaccination for personnel. He further added that the government also has had a major role in strengthening BRO in the past six to seven years by increasing its budget by three to four times. 

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