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The Indian government directed the Central Public Works Department to construct 44strategic roads along the border with China and over 2,100 km of axial and lateral roads in Punjab and Rajasthan, abutting Pakistan.
According to an annual report (2018-19) released earlier this month by the Central Public Works Department, the agency has been asked to construct 44 “strategically important” roads along the India-China border to ensure quick mobilisation of troops in case of a conflict.
It said the process of approval of DPRs by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS), headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is underway.
The road projects will secure the vast and remote border areas of Rajasthan and Punjab.
The nearly 4,000-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) between India and China touches areas from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.
The report comes at a time China is giving a priority to projects along its India borders.
A CPWD document stated that these 44 strategically roads along the India-China border will be constructed at a cost of nearly Rs 21,000 crore.
The report said that “the CPWD has been entrusted with the construction of 44 strategically important roads along the Indo-China Border spanning 5 states of J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.”
The CPWD report also stated that lateral and axial roads measuring over 2,100 kilometres will be built with a cost of around Rs 5,400 crore in Rajasthan and Punjab along the Indo-Pakistan border.
The DPRs for this project is under preparation in CPWD, which is a major construction agency of the central government.
“A total of 945 km of lateral roads and 533 km of axial roads lie in Rajasthan (tentative cost Rs 3,700 crores) and 482 km of lateral roads and 219 km of axial roads in Punjab (tentative cost Rs 1,750 crores),” it stated.
India’s border with Pakistan runs through four states — Jammu and Kashmir (1,225 km, which includes 740 km of Line of Control), Rajasthan (1,037 km), Punjab (553 km) and Gujarat (508 km).