Railway Lines have been planned in Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan
NEW DELHI: As part of preparations to meet challenges from China and Pakistan, India is planning to lay 14 strategic railway lines close to borders with these two countries to help in easier and faster movement of troops.
The railway lines are besides 73 roads being constructed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, sources said in Delhi on Sunday.
Out of the 14 planned railway lines, survey has been completed for 12, they said.
The railway lines have been planned in Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan.
Of the 73 roads with a total length of 3812 km, laying of 61 roads covering 3,404 km have been assigned to Border Roads Organisation (BRO), the sources said.
27 of the 61 roads are being constructed in Arunachal Pradesh, 12 in Jammu and Kashmir, 14 in Uttarakhand, five in Himachal Pradesh and three in Sikkim.
17 roads have been completed, they said. Out of 73 roads, 12 are being constructed by Central Public Works Department (CPWD) for ITBP, they said.
The infrastructure development is being carried out as China has made strides in this regard and India is lagging much behind.
Defence minister AK Antony conceded in Parliament last month that China is “superior” in terms of border infrastructure as India was late in deciding on building roads and other capabilities near the LAC because of the impact of the 1962 war.
He had described it as a “collective failure” of all the successive governments.
Antony, who was answering questions on increased intrusions by Chinese troops, had said all steps were being taken to safeguard national security while seeking a peaceful solution to the long-pending boundary disputes between the two sides.
“I have no hesitation to say that China is in a better position than India in terms of border infrastructure. It is a mistake, it is all of us who are to be held collectively responsible for it. It is a historical legacy,” he had said.
After “years of neglect”, he said India is fast developing capabilities near the China border, including building of roads, raising of two mountain divisions and setting up many new airfields and landing grounds.
“…If you compare overall, in the last ten years, our government has developed maximum infrastructure in those areas,” he said.
The increased incursions by Chinese troops have lately resulted in some incidents of face-off.
Commenting on those situations, Antony had said, “Infrastructure is coming up in disputed areas (along the LAC) also. Patrols are coming closer and as a result, we see there are incursions. They come and go, they come and go and sometimes, situations of face-off also take place. We feel we can go to the areas we feel are ours and they also do so.”