New Delhi, 26/7: India has built 2,000 kilometres of all-weather roads along its disputed boundary with China over the past five years as growing belligerence of the neighbouring country prompted it to renew focus on construction of infrastructure that would help it mobilise troops in case of a conflict.
Ever since the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had a 72-day-long stand-off in Doklam Plateau in western Bhutan, New Delhi renewed its focus on building all-weather roads along the long and disputed boundary between India and China – in response to massive border infrastructure being built by the communist country on the other side.
The government on Monday informed the Rajya Sabha that it built altogether 3,595.06 kilometers of border roads along India’s boundaries with its neighhbours – China, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Ajay Bhatt, Minister of State for Defence, informed the Rajya Sabha that 2,088.57 kilometers of all-weather roads out of the total length of 3,595.06 kilometers of border roads built in last five years had been constructed along the India-China boundary.
India also built 1,336.09 kilometers of border roads along the settled and disputed stretches of its border with Pakistan, spending Rs 4,242.38 crore, Bhatt informed the Rajya Sabha.
India also built 151.15 kilometers of border roads along the settled and disputed stretches of its border with Pakistan, spending Rs 882.52 crore. India also built 19.25 kilometers of all-weather roads along its border with Bangladesh, Bhatt informed the House.
Over 76% (or Rs 15,477.06 crore) of the government’s total expenditure of Rs 20,767.41 crore for building border roads went to construction of all-weather roads along the disputed boundary between India and China.
The 2017 stand-off between the Indian Army and the Chinese PLA in western Bhutan was followed by another stand-off between the soldiers of the two nations along the Line of Actual Control – the de facto boundary – in eastern Ladakh in April-May 2020. But, unlike the one in 2017, it has not yet been completely resolved, although more than two years have now passed. Though protracted negotiation by military commanders of the two nations could ensure mutual disengagement of troops from some of the face-off points along the LAC, the two sides could not yet resolve the stand-off completely.
China has also been rapidly expanding infrastructure along its disputed boundary with India.