In the recent parliament discussion, External affairs minister S Jaishankar informed the house how India’s spending on the board.
India spending on Border infrastructure
The minister in his interaction informed how earlier during 2008-2015 the spending was only ₹3000-₹4000 crore on the Border road infrastructure. He mentioned how the spending has gone up drastically when the Bharatiya Janata Party led government came to power at the center. The spending’s of the government roads have become thrice the time of 2008-2015 , as the Modi government has spend around 14,000 crores on developing the road infrastructure in the crucial border region, said the external affairs minister.
He also said the spending to increase connectivity along the border with China has been done for “obvious strategic reasons”.
Jaishankar said. “One cannot do a thing without investing in infrastructure to ensure our forces are prepared better,” He also highlighted how 16 such crucial passes which have opened in record time have helped forces to save time and ensure better movement of forces to strategic locations.
According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the capital budget of the BRO has been doubled in two years since FY 2021-22.
In the 2021-22 budget, the government has increased the capital outlay for the Border Roads Organization (BRO) by 40 per cent to Rs 3,500 crore.
Success of Zojila Pass
S Jaishankar also attributed the success of strategic investments by highlighting how the Zojila pass was opened in a record time of 73 days against the traditional practices when it used to take around 4-5 months. He cited how the current government has made double the amount of strategic roads and bridges in comparison to the previous government. India has so far built 6806 km roads and 22.5km of bridges in key strategic locations.
Importance of Border roads
Border roads help the forces in establishing hold in crucial strategic locations.Having good all weather roads helps the forces to maintain good supply and movement of resources and force.
It also helps them reduce the time they had to earlier spend on transporting and sending backup teams , which helps the country to save a lot of money and manpower.
With China’s activity increasing near the borders, construction of such all weather roads at strategic locations will help India to have strong control over the critical locations.
Along with building roads near China , India has been developing roads to friendly border countries like Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar to improve bilateral and cross border trade to further strengthen India’s bilateral relation.
India’s neighborhood first has been the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi
SJaishankar explained the Prime Minister’s vision of the neighborhood first. He said India wants trade , travel and to improve the ease of living near the border . He also said that there is a need for infrastructure along those borders for development, contact and connectivity with them .
To further strengthen and improve its bilateral ties with Nepal the government has equipped the borders with integrated check posts with all modern facilities to ensure hassle-free and seamless movement of trade and people.
To improve trade ties with Nepal, the government has equipped integrated check posts (ICPs) with modern facilities to ensure seamless movement of trade and people.
The Indian government has been also working on a proposal for establishing a railway link between India and Bhutan, which will be the first-ever cross-border rail link between the two countries. The ministry of railways is currently conducting a preliminary study on establishing the proposed link.