Dehradun: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday virtually inaugurated 44 bridges built by the Border Roads Organisation in seven states, including eight in Uttarakhand.
The defence minister said they will usher in a new era of connectivity and development in the border regions.
Singh also laid the foundation stone of the Nechifu tunnel on Tawang Road in Arunachal Pradesh.
Rajnath Singh inaugurated 10 bridges in Jammu and Kashmir; eight each in Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh and Ladakh; four each in Punjab and Sikkim; and two in Himachal Pradesh.
Simultaneous inauguration of such a large number of bridges is a record in itself, he said, adding the Atal tunnel in Rohtang was inaugurated recently.
India shares borders with Pakistan and China where tensions persist and the bridges will help in transporting necessary items to the defence forces besides fulfilling aspirations of people, Singh said.
Praising the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) for the work, Rajnath Singh said its budget has been increased threefold in the past four to five years and it is showing results.
Though coronavirus has affected all parts of the country, it is bravely grappling with tensions at borders and the challenges posed by the pandemic under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat thanked the defence minister for inaugurating the bridges, saying they are vital not just strategically but also from the tourism point of view.
The newly built bridges in the state will be of great convenience to Mansarovar pilgrims and tourists, he said.
Constructing bridges of such standards in remote areas reflects the commitment of the government and the efficiency of the BRO, he said.