Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday asked the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to further enhance its capability and work at strengthening the infrastructure of the border areas at a faster pace.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh has called upon the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to further enhance its capability through optimum use of technology and work to strengthen the infrastructure of the border areas at a faster pace. He was addressing all ranks of the BRO at the organisation’s 63rd raising day on Saturday.

“The Chinese presence has increased in the Northern sector in the recent past. Due to their proficiency in construction in mountainous areas, they managed to reach different places very quickly. The BRO must continue to focus on increasing their capability with full use of technology,” said Rajnath Singh.

He added that the government is also making all efforts to provide the required support to the BRO in this direction. He also mentioned the recent announcement of an increase of the capital budget of BRO by 40% to Rs 3,500 crore in the financial year 2022-23. He assured the BRO of not just budgetary, but all possible support in this endeavour.

The defence minister described the development of border areas as a major part of the government's comprehensive defence strategy, noting that it will bolster the security apparatus of the country and bring a positive change in the lives of people residing in remote areas. He stated that people's participation is also a key part of the defence strategy. “The more empowered the people of border areas become, the more aware and concerned they will be about the security of those areas. Citizens are the greatest power of a nation. Therefore, with changing times, we are committed to move forward for the development of our border areas. It is our top priority to provide maximum facilities to those who work round-the-clock for our security,” he said.

Rajnath Singh also lauded the BRO for opening new doors of security and prosperity not just in the areas where it is undertaking a project, but for the entire country. He described BRO as not just a construction organisation, but a shining example of unity, discipline, dedication and devotion to duty.

Underlining the importance of roads, bridges & tunnels in the progress of a nation, the defence minister also said the projects completed by the BRO have enhanced the operational preparedness of the armed forces and improved the socio-economic conditions of the people living in far-flung areas. “Infrastructure development in border areas is an indicator of the Government’s unwavering commitment to build a strong, secure and self-reliant ‘New India’ as envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi,” Rajnath Singh said.

Rajnath Singh highlighted that border areas have emerged as new centres of development and the regions like the North-East are not only developing themselves, but have also become a gateway for the all-round progress of the country. He asserted that the development of these areas is important for the nation’s progress at the international level as well, as the north-east region connects India with South Asia and Southeast Asia. He also commended the BRO for promoting tourism in far-flung areas through its 75 Cafes and tourism portal. These initiatives are symbolic to the ever-increasing growth of the organisation, he said.

Defence Minister Launched Several Initiatives

Rajnath Singh also launched two software - BRO Resource Management System and BRO Budget Management System developed by Bhaskaracharya National Institute for Space Applications and Geo-informatics (BISAG-N). The software will automate the distribution and utilisation of the resources as well as the budget of the BRO.

In addition, he also flagged in the ‘BRO@63 Multi-Dimensional Expedition’ organised in the run up to 63rd Raising Day. The expedition was flagged-off by Uttarakhand Governor Lt Gen Gurmit Singh from Dehradun, Uttarakhand on April 26.

Rajnath Singh also flagged-off ‘BRO@63-All Women Electric Vehicle Rally’. A team of 10 women officers and all ranks of the BRO will traverse approximately 750 kilometres on electric cars through the National Capital Region, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The initiative is also a part of a series of events being organised to commemorate ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’.

Rajnath Singh also felicitated officials of Project Himank in Ladakh and 13 border roads task force in Jammu and Kashmir for their commendable work during last year.

Minister of state Ajay Bhatt, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar, Director General Border Roads (DGBR) Lt Gen Rajeev Chaudhry and other senior officials of the BRO were also present on the occasion. A number of BRO personnel attended the event virtually.