India Speeds Up Work On Strategic Road Near China Border

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Rushes additional troops to forward positions along LAC: Report 

Pithoragarh: Helicopters have landed heavy road-building machinery in the tough Himalayan terrain of Uttarakhand’s Johar Valley to help speed up construction of the strategic Munsiyari-Bugdiyar-Milam road near the India-China border, an official said.

After several failed attempts in 2019, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) recently succeeded in carrying heavy road building equipment by helicopters to Laspa, raising hopes of the road’s faster completion, BRO Chief Engineer Bimal Goswami said.

The absence of heavy stone cutting equipment at Laspa near the alignment site of the 65-km road had delayed its construction.

The Munsiyari-Bogdiyar-Milam road, which is being constructed in the high Himalayan region of Johar Valley in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district, will be a link to the last posts on the Indo-China border.

“After several unsuccessful attempts last year, we succeeded this month in landing helicopters carrying heavy machines to Laspa. We now hope that cutting work of the challenging stretch will be completed in the next three years, Mr Goswami said.

Cutting of hard rocks, which are standing straight on a 22-km portion of the road, will now become easy as heavy machines can be transported by helicopters to the spot.

“Construction of the road was started in 2010 with an amount of Rs 325 crore sanctioned for the project, the BRO chief engineer said.

He said the road is being constructed from both ends and except the 22-km hard portion, cutting work has been completed on 40 km of the road.

Meanwhile, India has rushed additional troops to the forward positions in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh fearing any ‘misadventure’ by China, ANI reported Thursday.

Quoting government sources, the report says that the Chinese army has deployed its troops all along the over 4,000 kilometre-long Line of Actual Control after which India has also rushed its fighting formations to forward locations in Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.

“The Chinese military has done military build-up not just in Ladakh but also in other sectors including Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh wherever it shares borders with us. The build-up includes troops and heavy weaponry which are deployed in rear positions,” sources said.

“To avoid any possibility of any misadventure by the Chinese, we have rushed in our fighting formations to forward locations in all these sectors,” they added.

According to the report, the Indian side has also rushed in its new ultra-light howitzers and other heavy weaponry to the forward locations for countering this build up on the other side by China.

The report says that the reserve brigades of a Corps with an area of responsibility including Himachal Pradesh have gone up to the Ladakh sector to provide backup and cushion to the 3 Infantry Division based in Karu there.

It adds that additional fighting formations have also been moved forward to the border locations in Himachal Pradesh where Chinese choppers had shown up in April.

The report further adds that additional troops have been deployed in the Harsil-Barahoti-Nelang Valley and other sectors in Uttarakhand, where Chinese soldiers were seen carrying out foot patrols and chopper activity was observed before the buildup started.

Similarly, in the Eastern sector starting from the Chicken’s neck corridor, the training brigades of the Corps formations including the Sukna-based 33 Corps and Tezpur-based 4 Corps have been deployed on the front locations and a Brigade of the 17 Mountain Strike Corps is also ready for deployment, the sources said.

The report says that along the LAC in Ladakh sector only, 10,000 PLA soldiers and heavy weaponry including tanks and long-range artillery guns have been deployed by China.

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Press Trust of India

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