Most of the 43 bridges are in strategically important areas and they will help the armed forces in ensuring quick movement of troops

New Delhi: Amid heightened tensions with neighbouring China, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will soon inaugurate, via video conferencing, 43 bridges in seven border states and Union Territories and lay the foundation of a tunnel in Arunachal Pradesh. The foundation stone laying was to be done today, but has been postponed due to state mourning following the death of Minister of Railways, Suresh Angadi. Angadi died due to COVID.

Of the 43 bridges that are to be constructed by the Border Roads Organisation, 10 are in Jammu and Kashmir, eight each in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, seven in Ladakh, four each in Punjab and Sikkim, and two in Himachal Pradesh.

Singh will also lay the foundation stone of Nechiphu tunnel to Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. The tunnel is expected to shorten the travel time to Tawang, which lies 448 km northwest of state capital Itanagar and bordering China.

The construction of the Nechiphu tunnel on a key road to Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang, which is claimed by China, will also give a strong message to the neighbouring country.

Most of these bridges are in strategically important locations near the border and will help the enable the armed forces to react quickly in case of a confrontation.

The inauguration of the bridges built by the Border Roads Organisation comes at a time when India is engaged in a bitter row with China in eastern Ladakh. Diplomatic meetings have been held between the two sides and talks are on to de-escalate tensions.

It is pertinent to mention here that India is expediting work on several key projects amid the rising tensions with China along the Ladakh border. A strategic road linking Darcha in Himachal Pradesh with Ladakh that will criss-cross a number of high-altitude snow-bound passes, which is expected to give further advantage to the Indian Army in the bordering areas, is also in the works.