On June 17, 2021, Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh dedicated 12 roads, built by Border Roads Organization (BRO) in the Northern and Eastern border areas to the nation.
- Chief Minister of Assam Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs & Sports, Minority Affairs and AYUSH (Independent Charge) Kiren Rijiju and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat. Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region & Minister of State, PMO, Dr Jitendra Singh was among the dignitaries who attended the event virtually.
- At an event organised in Lakhimpur district of Assam, the Raksha Mantri e-inaugurated a 20-km long double lane Kimin-Potin road, along with nine other roads in Arunachal Pradesh and one each in the Union Territories of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir.
- Raksha Mantri reiterated the resolve of the Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, for the development of the northeast, describing the region as the gateway to not only the overall development of the country but also to the nation’s relations with East Asian countries.
- He also paid tribute to the soldiers who showed exemplary courage during the Galwan Valley incident last year and made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation.
- He said that India is a peace-loving nation but its response to aggression has been resolute.
- The Raksha Mantri also touched upon some of the major reforms undertaken by the Government, including the appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff, measures to boost self-reliance in defence manufacturing and the Corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
- These reforms are proving to be a game-changer in military preparedness in the rapidly changing times, he said.
- Shri Rajnath Singh underlined the constant efforts of the Government to make India self-reliant in defence manufacturing under the ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ envisioned by the Prime Minister.
- The roads have been constructed under ‘Arunank’, ‘Vartak’, ‘Brahmank’, ‘Udayak’, ‘Himank’ and ‘Sampark’ projects of BRO.
- The roads hold strategic and socio-economic importance as they will play an important role in strengthening national security as well as promoting development of the North-East region.
- These roads will be helpful in fulfilling the needs of our Armed Forces and transporting necessities like medicines and ration to remote areas,” he said.
- These road projects are part of the ‘Act East Policy’ of the Government wherein special emphasis is being laid on the overall development of the border areas.
- BRO refers to the Border Roads Organization.
- In order to ensure coordination and expeditious execution of projects, the Government of India (GoI) set up the Border Roads Development Board (BRDB) with the Prime Minister as Chairman of the Board and Defence Minister as Deputy Chairman.
- The BRO was formed on 7 May 1960 to secure India’s borders and develop infrastructure in remote areas of the north and northeast states of the country. It develops and maintains road networks in India’s border areas and friendly neighboring countries.
- It is responsible for the construction and maintenance of roads along the borders of China and Pakistan. Officers from the Border Roads Engineering Service (BRES) and personnel from the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) form the parent cadre of the Border Roads Organization.
- BRO has been entirely brought under the Ministry of Defence.
- Earlier it received funds from the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
- The current Director-General of BRO is Lt. Gen. Rajeev Chaudhary.