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Transforming Border Roads Organisation: MoD pushes to fast-track projects but challenges remain alon

Discussion in 'World Economy' started by sangos, Mar 7, 2015.

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  1. sangos

    sangos Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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  2. Anish

    Anish Lt. Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Economic Times does not let anyone copy paste whole article-

    but

    Transforming Border Roads Organisation: MoD pushes to fast-track projects but challenges remain along Indo-China border
    By Deepshikha Hooda


    NEW DELHI: The government has begun a major restructuring of the Border Roads Organisation as it rushes to accelerate the long overdue construction of strategic roads along India's frontiers, but senior Army officials and defence experts say the projects face several key challenges and the overhaul in itself is an uphill task. The Defence Ministry has undertaken several measures to fast-track the laying of border roads since former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar took charge of the department in November.

    "Regulations for border infrastructure have handicapped the construction of roads leading to the country's borders," Parrikar admitted at the Confederation of Indian Industries' Investment Summit recently.

    The BRO is especially worried about the slow pace of work on road projects along the Indo-China border. In Ladakh alone, of the 14 roads that were sanctioned to be built along the China border, only two have been completed.

    India has hostile relations with most of its northern neighbours, and while diplomatic efforts are on to ease tensions, the border roads are a strategic defence requirement to ensure faster and easier movement for ground troops and improve defence and surveillance layouts to prevent transgressions. Besides, these roads would also be a major connectivity boost for civil populations inhibiting the remote border areas.
    [​IMG]

    While several critical projects have run into bottlenecks created by BRO's structure of "two masters" -the Defence Ministry has technical control and command of projects, and the Ministry of Roads Transport and Highway controls funds and handles administration - the organization faces a host of other roadblocks that the government is hurrying to remove.

    For one, the government last year got rid of some hurdles related to obtaining environmental clearances to lay the roads, including doing away with 'public hearings', an integral part of the clearances procedure, to ensure faster sanctions.
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    The Defence Ministry is also in the process of taking complete charge of the BRO, expected by the budget session next year, and handing over of roads not in border areas to the National Highway Authority of India and the state Public Works Departments so its resources can be free to focus on strategic roads along the border.

    [​IMG]

    But with limited technology available with the BRO, creation of infrastructure along difficult terrain is proving to be exhausting, according to several sources. Plus, in inhospitable regions, monitoring of projects is often difficult without proper upgradation of IT platform systems.

    "Dedicated air effort needs to be made available for undertaking road work on the Eastern and Northern front for multi-point execution, repair cover and maintenance of BRO detachments," a senior Army official dealing with the construction of roads in Jammu and Kashmir told ET.

    Parrikar recently urged private construction companies to play a pivotal role in developing infrastructures along the border. Addressing a national workshop on including private companies in the construction of roads, bridges and tunnels in border areas, he stressed on the need to enhance the speed of construction to meet the Army's strategic requirements.

    "This move is welcome," said Pushpita Das, border management expert at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses. "There has to be a fine balance between the ecology and strategic planning, there needs to be an introduction to technology that causes minimum loss with maximum output."
     
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