Border Infrastructure: Modi government driving strategic projects with radical changes

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by TejasMK3, May 16, 2015.

  1. TejasMK3

    TejasMK3 Regular Member

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    Border Infrastructure: Modi government driving strategic projects with radical changes
    In the idyllic Andaman and Nicobar islands - fast emerging as India's strategic and economic arm into the Indian Ocean - a small strip of sea separates Port Blair from the small but upcoming town of Bamboo Flat. On the mainland, up North the Jammu-Akhnoor road has for years been a choking point for traffic heading up to Poonch, including military convoys that service troops along the Line of Control. In the Northeast, trade connections with Myanmar and Bangladesh have for decades been held ransom to shoddy roads and poor infrastructure.

    A radical new approach is now being adopted to accelerate projects to unclog these bottlenecks, along with work on hundreds of other strategic projects, as the Narendra Modi government sharpens focus on creating infrastructure along India's borders. From the Bharat Mala project (it envisages a road network along India's land boundary, stretching from Gujarat to Mizoram) to Sagar Mala (under which a coastal infrastructure will be set up along the nation's vast shoreline), the government's intention is clear: bring about a road and infra construction boom to help drive trade.

    While the idea is not new, the approach has been different - a newly created corporation has been empowered to execute projects worth Rs 34,300 crore and has been freed of red tape that traditionally binds government agencies on mega projects. And, execution has been rapid with road projects of nearly 3,200 km activated in the past year.

    Central to the change has been the creation of the National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL), which last year took over several projects from the Border Roads Organisation (BRO), mostly in the Northeast but also in a few other strategic areas. Its agenda is simple: create 10,000 km of roads by 2020 and revitalise India's connections with the neighbourhood.

    The changeover from BRO has been crucial - there are endless tales of roads passing deadlines by several years and construction costs quadrupling during execution.

    "Efficiency and transparency are the two key areas we are focusing on. Using e-tools for project monitoring and awarding of contracts, and an efficient dispute-resolution mechanism have been (the highlight of) our approach," says NHIDCL Managing Director Anand Kumar. Several critical projects have been fast-tracked, given the focus of the government on creating infrastructure.

    Consider this: In Port Blair, a detailed study on what could be India's first undersea transportation tunnel is set to commence soon. The idea is to construct a 1.5-kilometre tunnel connecting the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to Bamboo Flat. Oversea connection is impossible due to the heavy naval activity in the area.

    A similar undersea project is also being planned in West Bengal, to connect Sagar Island and Kakdwip with a 3.5 km tunnel. In the Northeast, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari last month, dedicated the final Indian stretch of the Stilwell road, right up to the Myanmar border. The Asian Development Bank is preparing a project report on connecting Manipur's capital Imphal with the town of Moreh near the border.

    [​IMG]

    Insiders say doing away with the old is central to the project. The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has, for example, created a new working group last month that has just one agenda: approve new infrastructure construction technologies for use in India. The committee has been empowered to approve within a month any new, internationally proven, technology for use in India, doing away from the archaic way of clearances that would require years if not decades for approvals by the government.

    Old challenges still remain, though, the biggest being land acquisition, costs of which have gone through the roof. "While in the past locals would pool resources together and offer us free land to construct roads, the demands in the Northeast for land that is virtually worthless are astounding, in some cases as much as 40 times the market value," an official says. This may be a challenge that would take a lot to resolve. In fact, a lot depends on the ability of state governments to convince landowners on the value a road can bring to a region.

    Another major focus of the new government agency is building regional connectivity to promote cross-border trade and commerce. The plan is to expand 500 km of roads in the northeastern region to enable transport with other South Asia Sub-regional Economic Cooperation member countries.

    The connection between Imphal and Moreh is part of these projects. "All we need to connect Tripura to Chittagong is a bridge and a sea port would be available to the Northeast," says Vijay Chhibber, secretary at the roads transport & highways ministry.

    India is now planning to use international funding through NHIDCL to push through these border connectivity projects. While the Asian Development Bank funds are to be utilised to connect Imphal to Myanmar, funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency is being planned to connect the Assam and Meghalaya borders to Bangladesh. The crucial bridge that could connect Tripura to the Bay of Bengal port of Chittagong in Bangladesh is also being planned through JICA funding.

    The next two years will be critical to evaluate whether this new approach is working and at stake are India's strategic linkages, and the future of trade in the region.
     
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  3. Prashant12

    Prashant12 Regular Member

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    India ramps up its military presence in Eastern Ladakh

    [​IMG]

    The process of force enhancement was put in place over the last five years.

    Bunkers drilled into barren hills, battle tanks at over 14,000 feet, and additional troops on newly built roads. India’s quiet efforts at beefing up military capabilities to match China’s wide-ranging transformation across the border are finally becoming a reality.

    This reporter was part of a small group of journalists given exclusive access to the eastern frontier with China.

    A much-criticised policy after the humiliation of 1962 war had resulted in India deliberately neglecting infrastructure even as the Communist neighbour transformed the mountainous and disputed border into a showcase of its economic might with all weather roads running up to frontline military posts.

    “We have to defend our borders. So whatever it takes us in terms of infrastructure development, in terms of force accretion, we have to do in the best manner,” Lt. Gen. S.K. Patyal, General Officer Commanding the Leh-based 14 Corps, which is responsible for the entire eastern sector with China and some parts of the Line of Control with Pakistan, said at Tangtse.

    He also expressed complete satisfaction at the focus on development of border roads by the Army, the Ministry of Defence and the Indian government.

    Longer stints for troops

    The process of force enhancement was put in place over the last five years.

    In a major operational change, since 2012, the Army began deploying units on longer tenures along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.

    The Army has also moved in tanks and mechanised units, as well as artillery to some areas of Ladakh. Several fortified bunkers on mountains are visible along the way in key areas. In fact the increased patrols both on land and in water on the Pangong Tso lake have resulted in increased stand offs with the Chinese army, which are resolved through banner drills and the agreed mechanisms, officials said.

    India and China have historically differed on the boundary between the two countries, and in 1962 fought a short and brutal war. However both sides agreed to resolve the border dispute through talks and in 2005 signed an Agreement on the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the Boundary Question and have had several rounds Special Representative level talks.

    Road, air links upgraded


    Augmenting rapid airlift capabilities, India operationalised the Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) located at over 16,000 feet. Work is now on to improve road connectivity to this critical area. Work on the 255 km Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi road is progressing at a quick pace. The alignment of the DSDBO road was decided by the China Study Group (CSG) with the cabinet secretary and other senior bureaucrats and representatives from the army and intelligence as members. DBO is about 16 km south of the Karakoram Pass.

    A critical bridge on the road, 150 kilometers from Darbuk, was completed last month and black topping of the road is in progress. While about 90 kms has been black topped, work up to 120km is expected to be completed by year end.

    “In the past few years we have made rapid progress and by 2022 I am confident the road would be completed in all respects,” said Col B.S. Uppal, commanding officer of 16 Garhwal Rifles. He added that even now DBO can be reached with the newly constructed bridge. However, as of now, the road is closed for three to four months of the year.


    Heavy vehicle ready

    In addition several other roads along the route are being upgraded and strengthened which will facilitate the movement of heavy vehicles. China has already built massive infrastructure along the border and has repeatedly conducted exercises to rapidly transport troops to the border in case of a crisis. In Eastern Ladakh, China has three air fields at Kashgar, Shiquan and Hotan and several mechanised and armoured columns deployed along the frontier.

    Officials said with increased numbers, India is only correcting the balance. “There is not much accretion by China, but their logistical capability has gone up,” one officer observed. To counter Chinese air power, India has been activating a series of advanced landing grounds along the frontier and fighter aircraft have been practising maneuvers in Leh.

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/nation...presence-in-eastern-ladakh/article8862745.ece
     
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  4. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Modi Govt To Undertake Construction of 73 Strategically Important Roads Along Indo-China Border
    The Modi government has decided to undertake the construction of 73 roads of operational significance along Indo-China border. Out of these 73 roads, 46 roads are being constructed by Ministry of Defence and 27 roads by Ministry of Home Affairs.

    24 of those roads have been completed. The project is likely to be completed by the year 2020.
    The proposal was expected to be completed in the year 2012-13 but the Executive Agencies have not adhered to the time schedule due to very high altitude and the mountainous, rugged and difficult terrain.

    STEP TAKEN TO SPEED UP THE PROJECT
    A Steering Committee has been set up under the Chairmanship of Secretary Border Management Ministry of Home Affairs to review and monitor the progress of construction of these roads. The committee meets periodically to sort out various bottlenecks in the implementation of the project with all agencies concerned including State Governments.
    States of Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh have constituted the Empowered committee to resolve the issues related to land acquisition, forest/ wildlife clearance, allotment of quarries etc.

    Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change has accorded general approval under Section (2) of the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 for diversion of forest land for construction and widening of border roads in the areas falling within 100 Kms aerial distance from the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
    The Ministry of Defence has approved Long Term Roll On Work Plan (LTROWP) and Long Term Equipment Plan (LTEP) for construction of border roads in a written reply to Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju in the Lok Sabha today.
    Source>>
     
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  5. Indx TechStyle

    Indx TechStyle Perfaarmance Naarmal Senior Member

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  6. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Army to build broad-gauge line from Pathankot to Leh after Centre’s nod: BJP leader

    Dharamshala: Former cabinet minister and senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar on Friday said that the Centre has given its nod for laying of a broad-gauge rail line from Pathankot to Leh which will act as a “strategic defence link.”

    Speaking to the media at Dharamshala on Friday, the BJP MP from Kangra constituency said that this new rail link will touch Dharamshala and its adjoining Army bases and a survey for this upcoming project has already begun.

    “This rail line shall be laid down by the Indian Army according to their requirements, and can be used by the civilians,” the former Himachal Pradesh CM said.


    Kumar said that this project is a “necessity” to counter China as it has already created a big rail-road network around India’s borders. He said that the century old Pathankot- Joginder Nagar narrow-gauge rail line “will not be disturbed” in order to construct the new rail link. He said unlike previous governments in New Delhi, the Narendra Modi-led NDA government is taking efforts to strengthen India’s borders.

    Another rail link project from Bhanupali (Nangal) to Leh via Mandi has also been cleared by the Centre. PTI

    http://www.livemint.com/Politics/YE...gauge-line-from-Pathankot-to-Leh-after-C.html
     
  7. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Infrastructure along China border being enhanced at 'galloping pace': ITBP DG


    "We were a little slow to start in the growth of infrastructure but now we are doing it at a galloping pace. We are getting new border posts, vehicles, weaponry and surveillance gadgets. We are very fast catching up," he said after reviewing the ceremonial parade of the paramilitary force at its base here.

    Chaudhary said a total of 172 new Border out Posts (BoPs), out of the total 176, have been raised on this border while work has been "fast paced" to build border roads in the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, that share their borders with China.

    "We had started work on 27 roads and I can tell you that on eight of these, work has been completed," he said.

    The ITBP chief said government sanctions have also been received for converting/creating 50 high-altitude BoPs on this icy border as "composite" ones which will have a central heating and 24X7 supply of liquid water for troops manning this arduous frontier which is marred by vagaries of sub-zero temperatures and blizzards.


    Read more at:
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com...ofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
     
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  8. sorcerer

    sorcerer Senior Member Senior Member

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    Govt takes up 3 major infrastructure projects at Demchok; no PLA impact


    Sanjeev Pargal
    JAMMU, Nov 11: With China’s Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) retreating to their original posting from village Demchok along un-demarcated Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh sector following India’s aggressive postures, the Government has taken up more developmental works at Demchok for welfare of the people along with Army, which was already laying water supply pipes.:clap2:
    This is for the first time when Chinese troops had to retreat to their original positions at Demchok following aggression shown by the Indian troops and they returned without any meeting or assurance from the Indian side. The PLA troopers were told categorically that the Army and civil administration was engaged in the works well within their territory and that the welfare measures for the people were not going to be stopped.

    Deputy Commissioner, Leh, Prasanna Ramaswamy told the Excelsior that they have taken up three significant development works now at Leh, which were going on uninterruptedly after blunt reply by the Army to the PLA that there would be no talks with them on their overtures to stop civilian works on flimsy grounds of un-demarcated LAC.

    Ramaswamy, who would be personally visiting Demchok in next few days for reviewing progress of the works, said they have taken up solar lighting project in the village for which wire work was on, the water supply pipes were being laid by the Army while another work for construction of residential quarters for staff in the Medical Sub Centre was on.

    “Three major developmental works are in progress at Demchok-two of which have been taken up by the civil administration and another by the Army. The work continued uninterruptedly even when the PLA troops and Indian Army were in stand-off modes at Demchok. The works would be completed well in time,” the Deputy Commissioner, Leh said.
    Official sources said Army Engineers were going ahead with laying water supply pipes in Demchok to connect it with Hot Spring Waters to provide drinking water supply to the village while civil administration was engaged in laying wire for solar lighting to lit up the area even without electricity. The people of the remote border villages will get round-the-clock medical facilities with construction of residential quarters at the Medical Sub Centre.

    Ever since Chinese army started showing aggressions along LAC to disrupt works, this is for the first time that they had to retreat after camping along LAC for two-days in pre-fabricated huts, which they had installed after objecting to works in Demchok and Indian Army’s outright refusal to stop them on the ground that they (the works) were being carried out well within the Indian territory.

    On November 2, Sino-Indian troops were again in stand-off mode at Demchok along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh after PLA had objected to laying of water pipes on the Indian side.
    The fresh face-off had come within days after India and China troops conducted joint tactical exercises in Eastern Ladakh and held frequent meetings between them, the latest one being on Diwali festival at two Border Meeting Points (BMPs) including Chushul and Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO).
    The administration had started construction work for irrigation canal with the help of Army Engineers and local people. The work was being executed under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).


    The Chinese troops had raised objections to the construction work on the ground that there was no demarcation of the LAC between the two sides and described area as “disputed”. However, the Chinese side was bluntly told by the authorities that the work is being carried out well within the Indian side for providing regular water supply to the people of border village of Demchok by constructing irrigation canal and linking it with Hot Spring water.
    The area had witnessed a similar incident in 2014 after it was decided to construct a small irrigation canal at Nilung Nalla under the MGNREGA scheme which had been a sore point with the Chinese.

    The PLA had mobilized villagers from Tashigong to pitch Rebos (tents) at Charding-Ninglung Nallah (CNN) Track Junction to protest Indian action.
    The ‘Hot Spring’ is different from the one in Chashool where Police Day is observed in the memory of 10 CRPF men killed in 1959 by Chinese troops.

    http://www.dailyexcelsior.com/govt-takes-up-3-major-works-at-demchok-no-pla-impact/
     
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  9. Mikesingh

    Mikesingh Senior Member Senior Member

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    The CongrASS needs to be asked: WTF were you morons doing for the past over 60 years of your rule apart from the hundreds of scams?

    Answer: Fuk-all! Squat! Zilch!
     

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