To be completed in two phases, the roads totalling 27,986 km will cost
over Rs 500 billion and will be completed by 2030
Published on 03/28/2011
By NC Bipindra
New Delhi: India will build 558 roads totalling 27,986 km by 2030 at a
cost of over Rs 500 billion in an effort to shore up its
infrastructure along the borders with China and Pakistan.
This massive project, to be completed in two phases, seems to be
India's answer to China's infrastructure development in Tibet in the
last decade and Pakistan's five major road projects.
During the last decade, China constructed three major highways
totalling about 6,000 km and 55 more roads along the Indian border.
Road connectivity to border areas is now considered a force multiplier
in wars, as they help faster troop and equipment mobilisation.
Under the road construction project, India's Border Roads Organisation
(BRO) has been tasked to build 277 roads with a total length of 13,100
km at a cost of Rs 248.86 billion in the first phase, a Defence
Ministry official said.
Another 281 roads with a length of 14,886 km and costing Rs 252.68
billion would be built as part of the second phase, the official
Though the original plan was to complete the first phase of the
project by 2012, the work did not proceed at the desired pace and may
get stretched to 2015. The second phase was to be completed by 2022,
but it would now extend up to 2030, the official said.
Under the first phase, the BRO has completed 29 roads. Work is in
progress on 168 more roads and construction is yet to start on 80
The second phase of the border roads project too has started, with
work on 11 roads totalling 876 km in progress.
Officials blamed the delays on time overruns in obtaining forest
clearances, restricted fund flows, extreme weather conditions in high-
altitude areas and administrative reasons such as poor logistical
support and manpower.
"Maximum efforts are being put into the 73 China-Indian border roads
by moving 61 units of BRO to Jammu and Kashmir, seven units to
Himachal Pradesh, 33 units to Uttarakhand, 46 units to Arunachal
Pradesh and 21 units to Sikkim to ensure timely completion of the
roads," the official said.
China has already completed three major highways between Lhasa in
Tibet and Aksai Chin in the west of the country (3,105 km), Gormo in
the central mainland to Lhasa (1,154 km) and Chengdu and Linzhi in the
east of the country (1,715 km).
The 52 other roads linked to these highways are spread over China's
western, central and eastern regions.
These apart, China is also focussing on roads (1,739 km) from Kunming
in its Yunnan province to Pangsau pass on the India-Myanmar border. Of
this, the Kunming-Myitkyina (647 km) all-weather road was completed in
Work on the Myitkyina-Tanai (192 km) road is in progress and work on
the Tanai-Pangsau stretch has already been awarded to a pro-Chinese
Pakistan is working on converting the Jaglot-Skardu road and Sazin-
Thakot road into highways, apart from carrying out a feasibility study
for a Karakoram Highway-Dushanbe road through the Kuliab Pass. These
roads are in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
It is also exploring the possibility of four-laning the Karakoram
Highway and its realignment to make way for the Diamer-Bhasha Dam that
would submerge 100 km of the highway from Sazin to Raikot.
Truth resides in every human heart, and one has to search for it there, and to be guided by truth as one sees it. But no one has a right to coerce others to act according to his own view of truth. - Mohandas Gandhi
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