Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday inaugurated 12 roads built by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in the northern and eastern border areas.
At a ceremony held in Lakhimpur district, Singh “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”, according to a statement from the Defence Ministry.
Speaking at the event, Singh paid tribute to the 20 soldiers who died in the clashes with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley on June 15 last year and said that “India is a peace-loving nation but its response to aggression has been resolute”.
Singh lauded the work of the BRO, the statement said, “for its contribution in infrastructure development of remote border areas of the country” especially during the restrictions due to the pandemic.
“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.
Singh said the northeast was “geographically unique” and strategically sensitive. He said the region has suffered several challenges, including insurgency and smuggling and added that these problems are being solved with increasing development.
Highlighting some of the reforms undertaken by the government — a day after the Union Cabinet cleared the dissolution of the Ordnance Factory Board to set up seven corporate entities owned 100 per cent by the government — Singh said that “these reforms are proving to be a game changer in the military preparedness in the rapidly changing times”.
“We are actively working towards making India a defence manufacturing hub. Self-reliance in defence production will reduce our dependence on imports, increase exports and strengthen our economy,” he added.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports, and Minority Affairs Kiren Rijiju, and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat were present at the event.
(With ENS, Guwahati)
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