Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday inaugurated 44 bridges including two crucial bridges on the strategic 475-km Manali-Leh highway to facilitate the movement of armed forces and logistics in forward areas of Union Territory of Ladakh.
Speaking at the virtual inaugural event, Singh highlighted the ongoing border tensions with Pakistan and China and asserted that the 44 bridges will enable the Indian Armed Forces to quickly move their troops and weapons in a crisis situation.
“You are well aware of the situation created along our northern and eastern borders. First Pakistan, and now also by China, as if a border dispute is being created under a mission. We have a border of about 7,000 km with these countries, where the tension remains,” he said.
The 44 major bridges dedicated to the nation were virtually constructed by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) in record time in seven border states and Union Territories in western, northern and north-eastern India.
The 297-km-long Darcha-Nimmu-Padum road that holds the second-longest bridge across the Bhaga river has been identified as the third strategic alternative to Ladakh in wake of the threat from Pakistan and China. The double-laned road is under construction and likely to be completed by 2023, officials said.