Singh on Thursday dedicated 12 roads, built by Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in Northern and Eastern border areas in Lakimpur in Assam.
Singh said, “We are priests of world peace and have always given the message of world peace. However, we also know how to respond to aggression.”
Singh said, “Northeast India is known for its natural beauty and resources however post-Independence development did not take place as it should have. Basic requirements remained unfulfilled however under Prime minister Narendra Modi the region witnessed fast development.”
Stating that Northeast India has strategic importance for its uniquely placed geography, he said that the region shares borders with five countries.
At an event organised in Lakhimpur district of Assam, the Defence minister e-inaugurated a 20-kmlong 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. The roads have been constructed under ‘Arunank’, ‘Vartak’, ‘Brahmank’, ‘Udayak’, ‘Himank’ and ‘Sampark’ projects of BRO.
He said there were a lot of challenges however those were taken care of. These roads are important from a security point of view.
Singh lauded BRO for its contribution in infrastructure development of remote border areas of the country, especially amid the COVID-19 restrictions. He said the roads inaugurated hold strategic and socio-economic importance as they will play an important role in strengthening national security as well as promoting development of the North-East region. “These roads will be helpful in fulfilling the needs of our Armed Forces and transporting necessities like medicines and ration to remote areas.”
The Defence minister added that these road projects are part of the ‘Act East. “In 2013-14 the budget of BRO was Rs 3000 Crore which has increased to Rs 11,000 Crore now. In six years BRO has built over 4800 km of roads.”
The defence minister said that Northeast India has an insurgency problem and it is controlled to great extent. “Northeast India is the right hand of India and the more this hand is strengthened the more the country will be strengthened.”
He added,” Our government has taken several important steps like appointing the chief of Defence staff, we have decided that henceforth weapons will be made in the country and if required we will export. Steps are taken for corporatisation of the ordnance factory.”
Singh said the capacity of the BRO in construction of world-class roads despite challenges in tough and hilly terrain demonstrates the mantra of “Aatma Nirbhar Bharat”.
He also inaugurated a 20 Kilometre double lane Road in Kimin. He reiterated the resolve of Government to connect all regions of the country to the overall national mainstream to provide equal opportunity for development and growth.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju and Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and senior BRO and Army officials attended the inaugural event.