Union Minister and Minister of State for Defence, Shubhash Bhamre emphasises boosting of road infrastructure in Himalayan region due to the security and strategic geo-political dimensions of the location. Adding to it, he pointed out that building such infrastructure was a vital activity for socio-economic development of an area and its integration with rest of the countries. “Road infrastructure in the Himalayan region is significant as in such areas having security concerns, a reliable and all-weather connectivity becomes all the more important,” he said. His remarks come in the backdrop of India-China standoff in the Dokalam region near Bhutan tri-junction. Following the Dokalam standoff, the Central Government has been taking keen interest in boosting the infrastructure along the nearly 4,000 km long Sino-India border, including the areas of dispute.
Bhamre who represents the Bharatiya Janata Part (BJP) from Dhule District of Maharashtra was participating in a two day seminar organized by Border Roads Organization (BRO) and shared his thoughts with the press yesterday. He opined that maintaining an all-weather road in the Upper Himalayan region was a serious concern for road construction agencies due to the difficult terrain, heavy snowfall, intense avalanches, sub-zero temperature and fragile geology of the region as well as ecological concerns. He added, “It not only has a major bearing on socio-economic and overall development of the area, but also the strategic needs of the region and its integration with rest of the world,” he said. The Union minister said that construction of tunnels was the only viable option to ensure all-weather connectivity and meeting ecological and environmental concerns.
It is to be noted that the present Government at the Centre is focusing on developing core infrastructure of the border region as well as the north-east to inclusion of these long ignore regions with mainstream India. As a result of such initiatives in the construction of infrastructure, there is a great demand for construction equipment and other allied industries in these regions. It is helping heavy equipment manufacturers enter such untapped or less penetrated market and increase their reach.