New Delhi: At a time that China is giving priority to projects along its India borders, the latter would also be constructing 44 strategic roads along the border with its neighbour.
Over 2,100 km of axial and lateral roads would also be laid in Punjab and Rajasthan adjacent to Pakistan, said reports on Monday.
According to its annual report (2018-19), the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) has been asked to construct 44 “strategically important” roads along the India-China border to ensure quick movement of troops in case of a conflict.
The nearly 4000-km-long Line of Actual Control between India and China touches areas from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.
In 2017, the two neighbours had engaged in a face-off at Doklam when China began building a road in the area. The standoff ended after a couple of months following a mutual agreement under which China stopped the construction of the road and India withdrew its troops.
The CPWD report said these 44 strategically important roads 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 five states of J-K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh,” said the report.
“The total cost of work as per the DPRs (Detailed Project Reports) is Rs 21,040 crores (approx.),” it added. It said the process of approval of DPRs by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was underway.
Along the India-Pakistan border, roads measuring over 2,000 km will be built in Rajasthan and Punjab at a cost of around Rs 5,400 crore, said the CPWD report.
“A total of 945 km of lateral roads and 533 km of axial roads lie in Rajasthan and 482 km of lateral roads and 219 km of axial roads in Punjab,” it said. 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 km, which includes 740 km of Line of Control), Rajasthan (1,037 km), Punjab (553 km) and Gujarat (508 km).