New Delhi [India]: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday (May 7) lauded the efforts of the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) and said that it has shown its engineering prowess to the entire world by building the ‘Atal Tunnel’.
Notably, ‘Atal Tunnel’ was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 3, 2020. The 9.02 km long, strategically significant tunnel that runs under the ‘Rohtang Pass’ was constructed on the Manali-Leh Highway under challenging conditions of freezing temperatures in extremely difficult terrain.
“Roads have been quite crucial in the journey of humanity. I have been told that BRO had constructed 60,000 km of roads, 850 bridges, 19 airstrips, and 4 tunnels so far. BRO showed its engineering prowess to the entire world in building Atal Tunnel,” Singh said while addressing the event.
“This has been one of the biggest achievements not only of BRO but of the entire country. A new record has been set in the field of construction,” the Defence Minister added.
The Minister described the development of border areas as a major part of the government’s comprehensive defence strategy, noting that it will bolster the country’s security apparatus and bring a positive change in the lives of people residing in remote areas.
“The more empowered the people of border areas become, the more aware and concerned they will be about the security of those areas. Citizens are the greatest power of a nation. Therefore, with changing times, we are committed to moving forward for the development of our border areas. It is our top priority to provide maximum facilities to those who work round-the-clock for our security,” he said.
The Minister highlighted that border areas have emerged as new centres of development, and the regions like the North-East are developing themselves and have also become a gateway for the all-around progress of the country.
“The development of these areas is important for the nation’s progress at the international level as well, as the Northeast region connects India with South Asia and Southeast Asia,” he said.
The Minister, lauding the BRO, said that it is now “moving towards promoting tourism in remote areas through BRO cafes, and recently launched tourism website.”
Underlining the importance of roads, bridges, and tunnels in the nation’s progress, Singh said the projects completed by the BRO have enhanced the operational preparedness of the Armed Forces and improved the socio-economic conditions of the people living in far-flung areas.
“Infrastructure development in border areas is an indicator of the Government’s unwavering commitment to building a strong, secure and self-reliant ‘New India’ as envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi,” he said. (ANI)