India speeds up road projects on China border

June 4, 2017
While five stretches were completed last year, eight roads will be completed by the year-end, 12 by 2018, eight roads by 2019 and six by 2020.

New Delhi: In a very late effort to match up to China’s roads across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), road building is continuing at a frenzied pace on the Indian side of Arunachal Pradesh to complete “strategic” Indo-China border roads by 2020.

The objective is three-pronged. Firstly, to ramp up infrastructure to enable Indian troops to move quickly in crisis situations. Secondly, to connect remote areas with the towns and cities and, thirdly, to aid the socio-economic development in these areas where the border population has thinned considerably.

The target is well cut out: To complete 1,788 km of 27 “strategic” roads in the hilly state with a road quality that would enable easy transport of the Bofors artillery gun as well as of Ashok Leyland Stallion and Smerch/Pinaka vehicles.

While five stretches were completed last year, eight roads will be completed by the year-end, 12 by 2018, eight roads by 2019 and six by 2020.

The task is all the more critical in the backdrop of the ongoing effort to raise a Mountain Strike Corps where the high-altitude force will be equipped, among other military hardware, with the brand new American M-777 howitzers, the deadly Brahmos missile and Apache attack choppers.

The Arunachal Pradesh government has already constituted an empowered committee to resolve issues related to land acquisition, forest and wildlife clearance, allotment of quarries etc.