DefenceNews

Government Plans A 1,700-km “Frontier Highway” With An Eye On China

Story Highlights
  • The Department of Border Management, which is part of the home ministry, in consultation with the defence ministry and state government. Later in July 2018, the home ministry gave suggestions about how to connect some areas.
  • The government hopes that these activities will help villages close to international borders grow and get better.

In the next five years, the government will build a new highway in Arunachal Pradesh that will be close to the border between India, Tibet, China, and Myanmar. At some points, the “frontier highway” will be as close to the international border as 20 kilometres.

The road transport ministry will build the two-lane road that is 1,748 km long and has a huge strategic value. Its goal is to stop people from moving from border areas. This is the longest National Highway that the Centre has announced all at once in the last few years.

The road, which is called NH-913, will make it much easier for defence forces and equipment to move to the border, where China has been trying to get in many times. It is said that China has been building things on its side of the LAC.

The road will begin in Bomdila and go through Nafra, Huri, and Monigong, which is the closest place to the border between India and Tibet. The road will also go through Jido and Chenquenty, which are close to the border with China. It will end at Vijaynagar, which is close to the border between India and Myanmar.

The whole stretch has been broken up into nine different packages. Nitin Gadkari, who is in charge of roads and transportation, said that the project would cost about Rs 27,000 crore, but now the government is looking into ways to lower the cost.

“Almost 800 km of the corridor will be greenfield, which means that there is no road there yet. There will also be tunnels and bridges. We have a plan to get all of the work approved by 2024–2025, and it usually takes about two years to finish building something. Different parts of the project will be finished as we go along, and the whole thing should be done by 2026 or 2027 “said someone in the government.

In 2016, the “empowered committee on border infrastructure” project first asked the road transport and highways ministry to do a survey and prepare detailed project reports (DPRs) based on the alignment decided by the Department of Border Management, which is part of the home ministry, in consultation with the defence ministry and state government. Later in July 2018, the home ministry gave suggestions about how to connect some areas.

Officials said that the government made the whole corridor a National Highway in November after the alignment was finalised. “Once a road is marked as NH, it is the job of the ministry of road transport to build it. There is also a plan to build inter-corridors in Arunachal Pradesh, which would connect the frontier highway to other roads “a source said.

The government hopes that these activities will help villages close to international borders grow and get better. “These roads and development projects will stop people from leaving these villages,” a government worker said.

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