Home / News / India prioritised infra development along China border for obvious reasons: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday that India has prioritised the swift development of infrastructure along its northern border with China for clear "strategic reasons," as the border dispute in eastern Ladakh continues to persist for 33 months.

The Union minister informed reporters that construction on the crucial 135 km Chushul-Dungti-Fukche-Demchok road in the Ladakh region began last month. He noted that 16 critical passes necessary for maintaining troops along the China border were opened ahead of schedule and in record time, leading to significant savings in terms of air support for isolated areas.

Some of the mountain passes along the border areas in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Ladakh have to be closed during the harsh winter months due to heavy snowfall.

While listing government priorities, Jaishankar said that the 6,806 kilometres of roads constructed along the border of China from 2014-2022 was double to what was built from 2008 to 2014. Minister Jaishankar stated that the construction of bridges along the border with China increased from 7,270 meters from 2008 to 2014 to 22,439 meters from 2014 to 2022.

"Sixteen key passes, which are required to maintain the troops on the China border, have opened in a record time, much ahead of the previous years, thus saving enormous funds in terms of air sustenance of cut-off areas, apart from immense economic and strategic advantages," Jaishankar said.

Jaishankar said that the traffic on the Zojila axis was extended till 4 January 2022 and it was opened again on 19 March, setting an all-time record of the pass being opened in just 73 days against the traditional norms of four-five months.

Jaishankar said, “We have focused on a rapid development of infrastructure along the northern borders with China for obvious strategic reasons. We have focused on rapidly developing border connectivity with our friendly neighbours to enhance trade, energy and other people-to-people exchanges."

He said that the Sela tunnel which was constructed on the Balipara-Charduar-Tawang road will offer all-weather connectivity to the Indian Army to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) near Tawang.

(With agency inputs

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